Preparing a pupil data file for upload

Some MIS (Management information systems) do not currently integrate with the ParentPay system. As a result, a manual upload may be required.


The ParentPay Support or Onboarding teams will be able to advise if an integrated service is available and will assist with setting this up.


Exporting a file from the MIS


All MIS providers should allow schools to create a report containing pupil data, and export the information into a spreadsheet


Please note: The pupil data file must be in a CSV format.


The report must contain the following fields:

  • Pupil surname
  • Pupil forename
  • Admission/roll number (This will be used as the pupil identifier in ParentPay, and so must be unique)
  • UPN (Secondary pupil identifier to help prevent duplications)
  • Date of birth
  • Gender

The following fields can be imported if required:

  • Year group
  • Registration group
  • Free school meal entitlement (If the school will be using ParentPay to record meals)
  • Free school meal start date
  • Free school meal end date
  • Dietary requirements
  • Parental salutation
  • Apartment number
  • House name
  • House number
  • Street
  • District
  • Town
  • County
  • Postcode

Please note: If a child is not currently entitled to free school meals, no start or end dates for previous periods of entitlement should be included in the data file.


WARNING: If the year group and registration group are not included in the pupil upload, all pupils will be uploaded as ‘Year X’. This can cause issues if future uploads do include the year groups and registration groups. 


Editing a pupil data file


Once the data has been exported into a CSV spreadsheet, the file must be opened and checked.

Commas should be removed from all fields (with the exception of dietary and allergen information where this may be required by the MIS).

It may not be immediately obvious that there are commas, so it is advisable to use the Replace function to locate the commas and replace them with a space.



Also check for, and remove, any blank lines. Blank lines may also appear at the end of the data. For example, a row with no data, but containing some spaces.




If free school meal entitlement has been included in the data file, ensure that there are no start or end dates for pupils who are not currently entitled to FSM. Leaving the date of previous periods of entitlement in the file will cause the upload to fail.




Check that all required data is included in the file. For example, there are no records with roll numbers missing.




Take a note of the format that the gender and free school meal entitlement are in. These will be required to create a mapping.


Please note: As the mapping is only created once, it is important that the gender and free school meal entitlements always remain the same.

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