In order to make lunch time more efficient for the staff and students and to remove the need to carry money in our school we are using a Cashless Catering System. It is quick and simple to use and the benefits are clear to the students, staff and school. At the point of payment you place your card on the card scanner, and once successfully verified by the Catering Point of Sale Operator, your account is debited.
You can charge your account by logging on the ParentPay website.
How do students obtain a school meal in the refectory?
The student simply places their finger on a scanner at the point of sale; a display will show the server the student’s name, class and current cash balance held within the system. The selected food items will be entered into the system from an itemised keyboard while the amount spent and the new cash balance will show on the display.
How will the student be able to check their balance?
Students place their finger on the top up machine scanner, to display the current cash balance. A second scanner is also available which displays the balance but cannot be used to top up.
What about students entitled to a ‘free school meal’?
The system works exactly the same for all students whether they pay or have a free school meal. All students have their own account to use in exactly the same way. The amount allocated for the free school meal will be entered into the system by the software daily and will only be accessible at morning break or lunch. Any unused allowance will be removed at the end of the day and cannot be carried over to the next day. Students and parents can also top up their balance using ParentPay or cash to enable a greater daily spend on the school dinner than allocated by their free meal allowance. As the free school meal allowance can only be spent on a school dinner, extra cash added into the system can also be used for purchases made at breakfast or break times.
It will still be the student’s responsibility to check food carefully and not to rely solely on the system to identify foods they must not eat. However, should the student have a specific food allergy, or be a diagnosed diabetic, this medical information can be coded into the system. This will help with preventing foods with allergy ingredients from being served to a particular student, by automatically locking out relevant buttons on the keyboard.
Will students have problems in using this system?
Most students will find the system very easy to use. Some students may find it difficult to control their accounts for the first couple of weeks, but because of a daily spend limit, most learn this important life skill very quickly and will enjoy being in control of their account. If students have technical queries or require assistance with the top up machine should seek help at the Finance Office.
Will we be able to have any information on how the system is being used?
Reports can be obtained from the system for your son/daughter giving information on all aspects of use. These reports can be for a specific day or between any dates you wish, and can be obtained from the School Office upon written request.
Reports available include –
(a) Every item of food served and the total cost of each serving.
(b) Individual payments made direct to the school by cheque or cash and manually entered into the system.
(c) Each payment made by cash at the revaluation station by the pupil and if required, even the number of individual coins and the denomination.
(d) A total overview to show the date, time and location with cost of each purchase, value of all manual cheque or cash payments, value of all cash deposited in the revaluation station and current cash balance.
Data Handling Certain data will be held on the system to enable accurate operation.
This will include your child’s name, class, photo, account balance and meal entitlement. This data will be handled under the guidelines of the Data Protection Act and only used by parties directly involved with the implementation of the system. This complies with the Fair Processing Notice, details of which are available on the school website. If you have any concerns please contact the Finance Office on firstname.lastname@example.org