Our cashless catering system in school enables students to pay for meals in school by presenting their fingerprint. The system reduces the loss of money carried by students and gives parents/carers oversight of how their child spends their money on food in school and what they are eating. It also enables a faster food service.
How it works – The system works by reading a small number of patterns on the fingerprint which is converted into a code and the next time the student’s fingerprint is scanned it simply checks that the same points are in the same places. No fingerprint image is stored and the details cannot be extracted or used for any other purpose.
When are Students Registered? – fingerprints are registered at the beginning of Term 1 where consent has been given. The Academy will contact families in order to seek consent prior to registration.
Student Dinner Money Account – Each student has a catering account which can be topped up via the “School Gateway” online system and selecting the “Lunch Money” payment item within your child’s account. If you have not registered for the School Gateway, please go to www.schoolgateway.com . You will need to use the email address and mobile number that we hold on record for the main contact “priority one contact(s)” in our database. If we do not hold an email address or mobile number for you on our records you will need to provide these to us first. If you need to check or give us your details please contact reception on 01963 350895.
By logging onto the School Gateway it is possible to view your child’s spending record and to set up email notifications alerting you when your child’s balance falls below an amount of your choosing. The Academy has automatically set a maximum daily spend limit of £5.00 on every account, but if you wish to lower or raise this please complete the appropriate section in the consent form attached.
Cash Alternative – There is a ‘top up’ terminal in the dining hall into which students can enter cash to top up their account.
Free School Meals – If your child benefits from Free School Meals, the value of this is added to your child’s account each day.
Frequently Asked Questions:
A. No. Fingerprint images are not stored on the system. Specific points of the scanned fingerprint image are converted to a unique numeric algorithm and then stored in the student’s catering account record. Data is only stored on Academy premises and not on a cloud server. Students and parents/carers can therefore be assured that images cannot be used by any other source for identification purposes. .
A. All biometric information will be securely deleted by the Academy in line with our data retention policy.
A. Students can be issued with a unique pin number to remember and enter on a numeric pin pad connected to the catering terminals. This option will utilise data already held by the Academy which will be used to identify the student for this purpose.
A. The account details can be retrieved by searching on a student’s forename/surname. An image of that student will be displayed, so that the Catering Assistant can confirm that the correct account has been accessed.
A. They simply place their finger on the reader. Their biometric pattern is scanned and then converted to their unique account number, which is then debited.
A. The balance available is displayed on a customer screen at the catering terminal at each transaction. Students can also check their balances at the cash top-up machines. Parents/Carers can check balances via the School Gateway.
A. The system works exactly the same for all students whether they pay directly or are entitled to FSM. The set allowance will be electronically placed onto the student’s catering account each day (the allowance is not rolled over) but additional cash can also be added by the parent / carer to enable a greater daily spend if required. This is retained separately and is only used when the free meal entitlement has been used in full.
A. Yes. There is currently a default limit of £5 spend per day, however parents/carers can increase or decrease this for their child by completing the appropriate section on the biometric cashless catering consent form.
A. No. Apart from students in receipt of Free School Meals, it is the parent’s / carersresponsibility to provide their child with the ability to buy food. Students will not be able to purchase food or drink unless their catering account is in credit to the total amount of their purchase. Students can check their balances at the cash top-up machines. Parents/carers can review balances via their School Gateway account.