Principals Today: Technology disrupts ‘normal’ start to school year

Principals Today magazine featured information from interviews with Paparoa Street School, Te Ra Waldorf School (& Proprietors Trust), Raumati Beach School, Belmont Intermediate and Vauxhall Schools – as they shared their experience with Kindo for simplifying the traditionally stressful back to school period. Click here to view PDF.

Disruptive technology often creates a plethora of downstream effects, but for schools using the new Payables functionality from school payments platform, Kindo, it looks like a good news story.  Kindo is simplifying the traditionally stressful period at the start of the year for school admin teams dealing with new students settling in, Student Management Systems to update, and camp and sports team forms and payments to chase up.

We talked to a number of schools using Kindo Payables to find out what the term one rush looks like — before and after Kindo.

Camille Lamond, office administrator at Paparoa Street Primary in Christchurch admits to being ‘a little nervous’ at the thought of introducing a new system but her fears were soon put to rest.  The ability to easily invoice items to an individual class or year and set up groups for specific payments like sports team transport has really cut down the usual start of year admin burden.

Increased visibility over what has been paid and what is owing has been a plus at Te Ra Waldorf School in Paraparaumu.  Executive Officer, Rhonda Huntley, feels that providing school families with the ability to part pay larger sums like camp fees, with Kindo continuously displaying the updated balance, offers a practical way to support parents and caregivers.

“In 2019, for the first time we had 100% of our swimming bill paid before the due date and camp was fully paid before the students set off.  Kindo also makes it really easy to have an empathetic conversation about amounts owing with parents because everything is so transparent” said Rhonda.

During 2020, the benefits of Kindo became even more pronounced in two areas. In terms of communication, having school families directly linked into Payables for both the school and its Proprietor Trust was very helpful. “We were able to clearly communicate with families around their payables and make adjustments as required for individual family situations affected by job losses due to COVID.”

More surprisingly, Te Ra has hit its 2020 budget targets despite COVID, exceeding budget for donations by a massive 12.5%.

For school admin teams, Kindo Payables has meant an end to counting and banking cash – and hours spent poring over spreadsheets correctly matching money to the right family and activity.

Jackie Corbett, Finance Manager at Raumati Beach School said that Kindo has also reduced teacher admin.  Processing touch rugby registrations and creating teams each season used to take one teacher out of the classroom for two to three days.

“This year our touch coordinator only needed a couple of half days’ to sort out teams because we’d put registrations online on Kindo – she didn’t need to type up information from paper forms into excel,” said Jackie.  “We just emailed her the spreadsheet and off she went.”

At Belmont Intermediate School, the introduction of Kindo means no more chasing up signed paper permission slips or dealing with cash for Sports Manager, Alice Browning.  “All our sports payments and permissions are done through the online Kindo system – it makes everything so much more efficient. We have a ‘pay before you play’ policy at Belmont Intermediate and have hundreds of students participating in after school sports and zone days throughout the year.

“With Kindo, everything is organised and finalised before the event, including payment, parent permissions and even the option for parents to indicate help with transport, coaching, or managing teams. No more chasing signed paper permission slips or dealing with cash. Everything is in one place with Kindo and an up-to-date report is available to you at the press of a button. It really makes coordinating our sports events and start of year sign ups a whole lot easier.”

Shannon McNaughton, both school administrator and parent at Vauxhall School on Auckland’s North Shore is a convert to Kindo Payables.  When asked what she would say to other schools, she doesn’t hesitate: “Just get it – from a paperwork and admin perspective Kindo takes away all the pressure.”

To discuss how Kindo can help your school office team, get in touch on or free phone 0508 4KINDO (0508 454 636).