NWAT was established in 2011 to open Chester’s first free school, St Martin’s Academy, with the aim of providing world class education with the academy and free school sector. The Trust allows the schools to run themselves and maintain their own character, and provides each school with access to a team skilled in school-to-school support, finance and accounting services, HR, legal services and marketing and communications. Part of this was the initiation of eeZeeTrip in the schools.
Sandie Jones, NWAT’s finance officer, discusses the impact of eeZeeTrip on their schools:
“One of the schools bought into another payment system but within a month it was clear it wasn't a workable or time saving system. eeZee Trip is now their chosen payment system. Even though payments through eeZeeTrip is only a small part of the financial picture within the Trust, dealing with day-to-day school payments used to be an onerous job.
“When completing the bank reconciliation, I require details of parental payments noted by the school office. Many people don't appreciate how busy school offices are, so there's a possibility I would have to wait for a week or two before receiving confirmation on queries. There wasn’t a quick way round it and was very time consuming.
“Now I can just go to the school banking option in eeZeeTrip and select the particular school I’m reconciling. It’s a simple as selecting the date range to match the bank statement and then I can download all the individual payments and put them straight into our accounting package. Very happy!”
eeZeeTrip also gets the thumbs up from the Trust’s accountant, as he’s also a parent at St Martin’s, and uses eeZeeTrip to make payments: “Jonathan thinks it’s great. It should be simple - and it is!
“The help and support is fantastic. There’s someone always on the end of the phone whenever you them and any questions are dealt with straight away.”
When asked what message Sandi would give to other schools and trusts considering eeZeeTrip, Sandi said:
“I would ask them to find a reason not to use it - because I can’t see one! And as our new schools open, we’ll implement eeZeeTrip from the start.”