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News and VIEWS
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Exciting Development Changes

Exciting Development Changes and Your Chance to be Involved in the Development Roadmap.


There have been some big changes recently to the way our Development Team are working, allowing us to focus on providing schools with a regular monthly upgrade with each one delivering new features as well as tweaks to existing features based on your feedback.


In January we were pleased to welcome Owen Jones to Tucasi as our new Technical Director and in April Sara Marsh became our full time Product Owner.  Owen brings a wealth of experience from one of our sister companies where he was Technical Director.  Many of you will have met Sara previously through training, demonstrations or whilst at conferences.  Owen, Sara and the Development Team are looking forward to taking the opportunity to meet more of you in the future and will be asking for your input to help us shape our development roadmap.  Your comments, ideas and suggestions are always welcome and allow us to build products that more closely match your needs - with this in mind we’ll be getting out and about to talk to more of you about your needs and ideas.


We’ll be making more of social media, the newsletter and direct emails to keep you up to date with what we’re planning, but for those of you who would like to get more involved there will be opportunities for you to do so through development planning workshops, early adopter projects or even opportunities to come and meet us at Tucasi HQ ….and lots more.    


Want to be involved?  Just let us know either through your Account Manager, you can contact Sara directly via email:  sm@tucasi.com or look out for more information in the next newsletter.



a meeting
National Account Manager at Tucasi
Earlier in the year we were delighted to announce that Janine Lawrence, who has been with the company for over 9 years, has taken on the new role as National Account Manager at Tucasi.  As part of her new role she will be working closely with Multi Academy Trusts across the country.

If your school is part of a Multi Academy Trust and you would like to have a chat about providing information to your fellow trust schools on our system, please feel free to get in contact with her.

Janine will also be arranging meetings for Business Managers and Bursar groups, so please also get in touch if you would like Tucasi to come along and show your colleagues our time saving suite of products. 

Contact Janine Lawrence on 0844 0800 4016 opt 1 to discuss more.

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Child Care Voucher Scheme

what’s changing? 


If you accept Child Care Vouchers and use SCO’s Extended Day module, you will probably be recording voucher and provider details as part of the payment reference you record in SCO.

You may have heard in the news that the Government’s new Tax-Free Childcare Scheme has rolled out as the successor to the existing Child Care Voucher Scheme for new applicants from April 2018, but did you know that the existing scheme will continue to be available to those already registered?

Key facts:

  • The Tax-Free Childcare Scheme (TFCS) replaced the current Child Care Voucher Scheme for new applicants from April 2018.  

  • The new scheme allows parents to pay some of their taxed income into a dedicated online account. The Government will contribute 20p for every 80p the parent spends on childcare, to a maximum of £2,000 per child under 12 (or for disabled children £4,000 a year up to the age of 17). 

Existing members of the previous Child Care Voucher Scheme can opt to swap to the new scheme (if eligible) or continue to receive employer funded Childcare Vouchers as they currently do until their child is 15 years old (or 16 years old if disabled).

If you don’t use the SCO Extended Day module click here to find out more.


training
Tucasi e Learning - update
You may recall a little while ago we announced the launch of our new eLearning services - a flexible learning platform, currently available for Dinners module. 

We've since had several schools completing their eLearning training. In fact, the feedback has been so positive that we have now commenced the development of eLearning services for other modules so watch this space…!

The main benefits of using our eLearning:

  • Flexible: designed to help customers who struggle to find the time to train staff in our Schools Cash Office. Unlimited, 30 day access to complete training in own time, at school or at home.

  • Comprehensive: suitable as a refresher training for existing users or to train new staff.

  • Interactive: a set of tutorials with supporting, interactive exercises using our simulated software suite.

  • Competitively priced: We even throw in a follow-up phone call with one of our Professional Services Consultants to answer any queries you may have.

  • Transferable: certified skills that you gain are widely recognised across schools that also use Schools Cash Office. 

Please click here to find out more: http://www.tucasi.com/e-learning

computer users
Schools Cash Office live Webinars
We often receive feedback from schools asking whether we offer short surgeries addressing particular Schools Cash Office queries.  So we are pleased to announce that this term we are introducing a number of Schools Cash Office live Webinars covering a variety of popular subjects.

These live, web-based sessions will be run by one of our Professional Services Consultants, using the Webex technology - you will require an Internet connection and a computer or a laptop with speakers (alternatively, you may prefer to use headphones with your computer).

Each Webinar will target a specific subject and will last no longer than one hour. You will be able to submit a live query via the Webex Chat so that we can answer it during the session.

Please contact the Professional Services team directly on 0844 800 4016 (option 2) or send an email to training@tucasi.com for more details on the subjects that we will be covering and available dates and times.

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The ‘cash-only’ debate
Online payment systems are becoming the preferred method for schools to ensure money is received efficiently and safely. In spite of the benefits of implementing this software, there are still a number of schools throughout the UK that are reluctant to go cashless.

Why? Some schools feel that by going cashless they will exclude a large proportion of their parents which are cash-based payers. However, a recent parliamentary report has found that around 1.5 million people in the UK don’t have a bank account, which is equivalent to just 1 in 40 people.

On average, primary schools will have around 400 pupils, which means only 10 parents in the whole school will be without a bank account. In fact, it could be far less, as 600,000 people included in the survey were classed as ‘older people’, who are unlikely to have children of school age.

Taking the figures above into account, if a school offers online payments to 390 of their parents, their admin staff can then easily manage the recording of cash for the other 10 parents, without providing an additional option to those without a bank account, which comes at a further expense. 
To find out more about the benefits of implementing an online payment system at your school, click here

Help for parents

If your school would like to implement an online payment option in the future, there are resources available to help parents set up a bank account.

In January 2016, fee-free bank accounts were introduced for people who have either been refused a current account in the past or can’t use one due to financial difficulties. For those parents who don’t have a bank account, a fee-free basic bank account can make it much easier for them to manage their money.

These types of bank accounts don’t have an overdraft facility, meaning parents won’t be able to get into debt by spending more than they have.

Most fee-free bank accounts will allow parents to:

Pay money into their bank
Some will receive a debit card
Pay bills
Withdraw money
Monitor their account balance
Have their wages, salary, benefits, pensions or tax credits paid straight into their account
Pay cheques in for free

For more information about fee-free bank accounts and the eligibility, click here.

To arrange a no-obligation demonstration of our Online Payment Module to see how we can help your school, please give us a call on 0844 800 4016 or email info@tucasi.com.