What is cashless catering?
At Coombe Boys we use a cashless catering system. This means that pupils no longer need to bring money into school to pay for food and refreshments throughout the day. This system has a number of advantages.
- Pupils are served much faster, dramatically reducing queuing times.
- Pupils no longer lose dinner money.
- Parents know that students are eating healthy foods each day and not spending money on unhealthy food and drink.
- Pupils eligible for free school meals no longer need to queue for lunch tickets before school or at break.
- Parents/carers have the option to monitor the foods that their children are consuming by means of a secure website (this is only available to parents/carers that choose to use 'parentpay')
- Pupils are able to access breakdowns of their nutritional intake for analysis across the curriculum.
How is this achieved?
In order to make this possible we use a biometric solution. The pupils are required to place a finger tip on a scanner at the point of sale. The pupil's picture and name then appears on a screen for a till operator to verify. The till operator then selects the items the pupil wishes to purchase and the appropriate amount is automatically deducted from the pupil's account.
How is money paid into a pupil's account?
There are three ways in which a pupilt's account can be 'topped up';
- Online: Using a system called 'parentpay' parents/carers can top up the account, view the balance and see what their children have been eating.
- Cheque: Cheques can be brought into school and placed in a box in reception. These boxes are emptied and the students accounts updated once each day. Cheques should be made payable to 'Wilson Jones ltd'.
- Cash: Two machines are located in fixed positions around the school. Students need to place their fingers on the scanner before adding money to the machine. The student's account is then 'topped up' immediately.
How do I find out if my child is elligible for free school meals?
Free school meals may be provided for your children if you, as a parent are in receipt of Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, income-related employment and support allowance (this benefit was introduced on 27 October 2008), the guarantee element of State Pension Credit, support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 or receive Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit) and have an annual income of less then £16,190.
If you wish to apply for free school meals online or via paper application, please click on the relevant link below.
If you require any further information about Free School Meals, please contact the Information and Advice Centre on 020 8547 5234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you record a finger print?
The company that administer our biometric system is called 'Vericool' They are an extremely experienced company and have provided biometric solutions to many UK schools over the last six years. All pupils need to have two of their fingers scanned. From this scan, 120 points are identified and converted to a numerical code that is unique to each student at a particular school. the finger print is not recorded and saved in any way.
What happens if I don't want my child to have their finger tip scanned?
We appreciate that some parents/carers may not want their children to use a biometric method of identification. If this is the case a student can still be identified at any point of sale by giving their name. The pupil's picture would then appear on the screen and would require the till operator to confirm the student's identity before any money could be deducted from the account.