School Shop - Setting up and managing shop or uniform payments and purchases

We have a specialised area of Arbor to manage payments and purchases for your school shop, including tickets, tuck shop purchases or uniforms. With this feature you can:

  • Manage different available items with different prices.
  • Allow parents to select items to purchase through the Parent Portal and Parent App.
  • Reconcile payments made, items ordered and tick them off once issued.

School Shop is included in our newest Perform package. All other Arbor packages won’t have this feature by default. Want to upgrade or find out what package you’re on? Just get in contact with your Account Manager.

Top Tip: Make sure you have set up Card Payments on your site to allow payments via card.


  • Finance: Administer - Set up School Shop items, log payments and refunds and mark items as issued/not issued.
  • Finance: View - View products and purchases, but not edit any information.
  • School Shop: Administer - View products and purchases and mark items as issued/not issued. Please note that this permission is not included in any Business Roles by default, but can be added ad-hoc to people using the link below.

If you don't have the permission, you'll need to ask your admin team to give you permission using these instructions.

How long will it take?

  • Switch off your previous setup - 2 minutes
  • Set up your account - 5 minutes
  • Add school shop products and prices - 10 minutes per product


Switching over from Clubs or Customer Account Types

To switch over, first decide when to switch. We recommend switching over during a break in the school year such as a half term or holiday - you might want to send your parents an email or in-app message to let them know about the change on Arbor.

We currently use Customer Account Types

If you've been using a Customer Account Type top-up account to manage payments and invoices for items, go to School > Payments > Setup > Customer Account Types.

Select the account and click Edit in the slide over. 



Change this account so parents can no longer see it in the parent portal and can no longer be topped up via card, so it can no longer be topped up.



We currently use Clubs

If you've set up in Clubs, go to School > Activities > Clubs and select the club.

Click into the membership periods and prices and click Edit in the slide over. 



Delete the information in the Guardian Portal Signup section, then click Save Changes.



This means it will no longer show on Parent Portal or the Parent App so parents cannot make new purchases. Any parents who have already made purchases will still be able to see the purchase.



Setting up your School Shop

Follow the instructions below to set up an item in your school shop. You can have multiple items linked to the same School Shop account, or create multiple accounts for pay out to different providers.

Step 1 - Create the Customer Account Type

Follow these instructions to create your new Customer Account Type: Setting up a new payment Customer Account Type

Please note that School Shop will not work if you have changed an old Ad hoc account category to be a School Shop type - it must be a brand new account.

  • Make sure you select the Category of School Shop. This means that parents can't top up the account, but they will be able to purchase the items.
  • Selecting to Show in parent portal will display the account so parents can purchase items.
  • Do not tick the Auto create boxes.


Step 2 - Add School Shop products

Go to School > Payments > School Shop > School Shop Products and you'll see your currently active (purchasable) and inactive items for purchase. Click +Add to add a new item.



Add the details into the slide over:

  • Choose the item to be purchased, and add an extra description if required (this will also show for parents).
  • Select which students are able to purchase this item - for a custom set of students you can use a Custom Group.
  • Add a maximum number of the items that are available, or leave this blank to have unlimited. Once all items have been sold, they can no longer be purchased.
  • Add a maximum number of the items available per student, or leave this blank to have unlimited. Once all items have been sold, they can no longer be purchased via the Parent Portal and Parent App, but you can purchase on their behalf manually.



Use the Parent Portal Availability section to choose when this item is purchasable through the Parent Portal and Parent App. Leave these times and dates blank to manage purchases manually, and not show these on the Parent Portal and Parent App.



You'll then be taken to the product overview page, where you can click any thing with an arrow > to amend the details.



Click into the Product Picture field to add an image. This will show in the parent Portal and Parent App so parents can see what they are purchasing.



The Accounting Details section allows you to link each School Shop product to a Customer Account Type, to allow products to be grouped together for reporting and reconciliation purposes.

If you can't select an account, you'll need to go back to Step 1 and set this up.


Step 3 - Add item prices

The Product Prices section allows you to set different prices for different students or groups of students. Click +Add to add a new price.



The price for students will be the lowest price set for them. So in the example below, a Pupil Premium student would pay nothing.




Viewing and logging purchases



How can we report on purchases?

Please see our guidance on this here.

Can applicants purchase School Shop items?

To enable purchasing for applicants, you'll need to add the applicants to a custom group following these instructions: Custom group for applicants and admissions

You'll then need to add eligibility and a price category for that custom group for the School Shop item.



What happens if you edit the item name after purchases?

For example, if you change the item name from 'Bag' to 'Book Bag'. The old name will still show on invoices, such as on the student's profile in Payments > School Shop > Invoices.

Can we edit the prices once an item has been purchased?

Yes, changing the price will not affect those students that have already made purchases. A new price will be applied only for future purchases for this product.

Can we give a partial refund for items with lowered prices?

You would need to give the student a full refund for the original price they paid and then purchase the item again at the new, lowered price. You can see further details here: Can we give a partial refund for items?

Can we delete an available item?

Click into the item name, and click the Delete Product button. You can only delete an item if no purchases have been made.



What happens if you try to purchase more items than there are available?

School staff or parents can only put through a purchase if the number of items they are trying to purchase is the same as or less than the number of items left. For example, if there are 2 ties left, a parent trying to purchase 3 they'll get a note, and must change it to this number or below e.g. "The maximum value for this field is 2".

If no items are available, the +Add button will disappear, and parents won't be able to pay through the Parent Portal or Parent App.

What is the minimum price for an item?

The minimum price for items in the School Shop is £1.

Can we log purchases of items in bulk?

You can only log purchases one student at a time.

Can we log purchases via cash, cheque or bank transfer?

Please see our guidance here.

Can we 'pay' for School Shop items with Behaviour Points?

It is not possible to swap or cash in Behaviour Points for School Shop items.

Can we have free items?

Yes, please see our guidance on this here: Can we set up free School Shop items?

What happens to the items next academic year?

The products will remain active, and available to the students who were in the student groups selected last year. To make the items available to new students, or different student groups, simply select your new student groups or year, then add prices for them. 

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