Setting up group meal patterns (Non-SIMS)

To enable the ParentPay Dinner Money™ module to automatically tick the attendance screens, you can allocate meal patterns to groups of pupils. This feature is ideal for users that have multiple pupils that retain the same regular pattern, for example they always take a meal five days a week or they always take a meal on the same day(s) each week. Meal Patterns will not work for schools that have pupils who have an irregular meal arrangement.

Group Meal Patterns are usually actioned during the setup stage or at the beginning of an academic year/term. However individual meal patterns can be added as and when required.


Setting up the Meal Pattern Group


  1. Go to People > Groups
  2. Click Create New Group

  1. Enter a name for the group
  2. Tick boxes as appropriate for your requirements
  • The Visible in register box (ticked by default) means that you can choose to view this group in the Attendance screen
  • The Visible for parents box (not ticked by default) means that parents will see that their child is included in this group
  • The Usable by all managers in school (ticked by default) means that all school managers will be able to view this group in the attendance screen and also edit the group if required.

  1. Go to Find people to add
  2. Enter Choose group 1: Pupil
  3. Choose group 2: Enter chosen year group, reg group or All
  4. Click Search

  1. Tick the pupils you want to include in the group
  2. Click Add to group

  1. The selected pupils will appear in the group at the top of the page, Click Save

  1. You are then ready to create the meal pattern for the group


To create a meal pattern


  1. Go to People > Groups
  2. Select search criteria: Pupil
  3. Select search criteria: Meal
  4. Select group: School meal
  5. Click Create group meal pattern

  1. Either un-tick any pupils that the meal pattern you are creating does not apply to, or leave all pupils in the group ticked.
  2. Select Choose time: Lunch time
  3. Select Choose type: your relevant Pupil Meal type
  4. You then have two options:
  5. Create a Monday to Friday pattern; or
  6.  Select the pupils that have meals on a specific day(s) ie. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
  7. Select Start date: this must be a date in the future
  8. Select End date: choose either an Open ended pattern, which will continue to mark attendance until the pupil leaves the school or you end the pattern, or choose to enter a defined end date
  9. Tick the box to consider closing days

Please note: You will have to ensure that you have entered term dates and closure dates under Settings > Manage Calendar > Manage Term dates to ensure that the meal pattern does not populate on days when the school is closed


  1. Click Save and you will have created your pattern

Please note: Meal patterns cannot overlap - if they do the system will warn you and ask you to confirm in order to overwrite the information