New payroll service in schools

Issue: Volume 98, Number 17

Posted: 14 October 2019
Reference #: 1HA0Hh

Around half of New Zealand schools now have access to the new schools’ payroll service, EdPay.

Education Payroll is building a new schools’ payroll service, EdPay, in stages and staggered groups of schools have been trialling its available features since

March 2019. The largest group of 1,000 schools was offered EdPay in September and Education Payroll is aiming to provide it to all schools in term 4.

So far, EdPay can be used for new hires, updating employee contacts and financial details, and terminating contracts. Schools with EdPay still need to use Novopay online for the payroll features that haven’t yet been built.  

Nationwide school input

Education Payroll designs all new features with advice from schools. 

Clare Fulbrook, manager of the design team, explains: “EdPay’s not an off-the-shelf product, so as each feature is designed, there’s lots of opportunities to be involved. This month we’re visiting 20 schools in Rotorua, Hamilton, Queenstown, Dunedin and Cromwell to hear what they’d like from the EdPay leave management feature.”

The design team does their work months ahead of the build team, and every EdPay feature has been built in the same way, starting with researching what schools want.

“We bring the advice schools have given us back to the build team,” Clare says. “Listening to people who use the service is everything. You can read all the manuals you want, but you don’t know how people are really doing things until you sit down and ask them.”

Wellington College (secondary school for boys), was one of the first to trial EdPay and has been using it since March. Susan Quinn is the college’s business manager, and she’s been giving her feedback to Education Payroll about how well the new service fits the needs of her busy school of over 1,700 students.

“It’s intuitive, and the things it can do so far are a big improvement. There’s still a long way to go before it does everything we need it to, but I understand the approach and why it’s a good idea to be taking things slowly and trying to get it right,” Susan says.

All schools using EdPay still have access to the existing payroll service and can choose which one to use for various tasks.


Education Payroll gathers feedback from schools about how well EdPay features work on the ground, and then makes adjustments based on their advice. Susan tells her dedicated payroll adviser, Sam, when she notices areas for improvement. “It’s nice that EdPay is user-driven,” Susan says.

Education Payroll’s Chief Executive Arlene White says the September rollout to 1,000 schools has gone well and has given the team confidence that EdPay’s on the right track.

“We’re listening to the schools who have it now, and mostly I’m hearing that they like EdPay and they just want it to be able to do more…This is a really complex payroll system, and we’re doing everything we can to get it right for schools.”

Any school administrators that would like to start using EdPay can let their dedicated Education Payroll adviser know.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 9:17 am, 14 October 2019

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