This week that ParentPay, the Microsoftie payment system used by many schools, rolled out a web site update to support an even more limited range of browsers. This included dropping support Internet Explorer before 9 for “security reasons”.
By coincidence, in the same week Microsoft trumped their loyal fanobois at ParentPay by announcing that everything prior to version 10 was hereby deemed unsafe. ParentPay has yet to comment.
As an illustration of just how feeble their new browser support policy is, here’s a list of those they’ll accept, taken from their web site:
- Chrome 35 or higher
- Firefox 30 or higher
- Internet Explorer 9 or higher
- Safari 6 or higher.
The the the the That’s All Folks!
Schools should be seriously considering their relationship with ParentPay, given the cost and inconvenience they’re forcing parents to go through in order to use it. Analysis of the traffic across my servers suggest that IE has around a third of the browser market. Of these, more than half are using IE 9 or earlier.
ParentPay’s assertion that this will only affect a “..small proportion of parents” may be literally true, but it’s disingenuous. Let’s do some simple arithmetic. Say there are 1500 parents in a secondary school. A third of these use IE – that’s 500. Half of these use an old IE (on an old PC) – that’s 250/1500 parents at each school who’ll be grossly inconvenienced. Cancel the fraction out and it’s 1/6, which could be described as a small proportion, but it’s still 250 per school.
The number of people who would be using”unsupported” browsers on tablets or mobile devices is probably very high. Anecdotally, parents have access to a PC somewhere that they currently have to go to in order to use ParentPay. Many would rather use a tablet.
It’s about time someone set up an alternative to ParentPay and schools were educated in to the benefits of open standards.