Cashless Catering

What is a Cashless System?                                         

At the heart of the cashless system there is a computer controlled by I.M.P.A.C.T. - Software. This allows the system to recognise each individual pupil, hold individual cash balances, record cash spent and cash received record where money is spent, on what food, on any specific date and time of day.

Biometrics Overview

How are pupils recognised by the system?

Each pupil will have their fingerprint registered which will then be translated to an Alpha Numeric number, the image is then discarded, when used this will then enter them into the system program and identify them by a number.

How is this then used to obtain a school meal?

The Pupil simply places their finger on a scanner at the point of sale; a display will show the server the pupil’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 does the revaluation station work?

Firstly the pupil places their finger on the scanner mounted on the Revaluation Station to enter the I.M.P.A.C.T system which will display the pupils name and current cash balance held within the system.

The second stage - coins are inserted into the slot. Each incremental cash balance will show on the display. Then press the red button to tell the system that the transaction is completed.

How will the pupil be able to check what the current cash balance is held in the system at any one time?

  1. By using the revaluation station. Place their finger on the scanner display the current cash balance. There is no need to deposit any money, just press the red button to finish.
  2. Also a Remote Display at the point of sale will show the new cash balance when the food service is finished.

If we pay for a set number of school meals, can it be spent in one day?

No, a daily spend limit of £ 5.00 will be set for all pupils and no food above that limit can be bought. On request, an individual pupil limit of your choice could also be set, to include a school dinner, breakfast club and break time snacks

What if the pupil does not hold a sufficient cash balance one day to pay for school dinner?

As before, no pupil is refused a school dinner because they have not brought their dinner money to school with them. The school will allow for the pupil to loan money for one day. However, just as before, the pupil would be expected to bring some money with them the next day to repay the loan and re-credit the system by using the revaluation station or by cheque payment to William de Ferrers via the catering office.

What about pupils entitled to a 'free school meal'?

The system works exactly the same for all pupils whether they pay or have a free school meal. All pupils 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 be accessible from Breakfast club through to lunch break.

The system will then allow on a daily basis the required cash amount for each individual pupil to be allotted to their current cash balance. However, any under spend or missed dinner will be identified by the system and will not be added to the next day’s balance.

The pupil can also add extra cash on to his or her balance in the system by using the revaluation station, to enable a greater daily spend on the school dinner than allocated by their free meal allowance. As this allowance can only be spent on a school dinner, extra cash added into the system can also be used for break time snacks.

There will be no more queuing to be issued a ‘free meal’ tickets or having the pupils name entered into the ‘free meal’ register at the till point.

What is meant by 'dietary control'?

Should the pupil have a specific food allergy, or be a diagnosed diabetic, this medical information can be coded into the system, preventing foods with allergy ingredients from being served to a particular pupil, by automatically locking out relevant buttons on the keyboard. Please ensure the School is notified of any specific issues.

Will pupils have problems in using the system?

Some pupils 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.

Will we be able to have any information on how the system is being used?

Reports will be able to be obtained from the system giving comprehensive information on all aspects of use for each individual pupil as well as each day’s service. These reports can be for a specific day or between any dates you wish, they will be dated and timed to the minute. These reports will be able to be obtained via the internet or from the School at

  1. To show every item of food served and the total cost of each serving.

  2. Individual payments made direct to the school by cheque or cash and manually entered into the system.

  3. Each payment made by cash at the revaluation station by the pupil and if required, even the number of individual coins and the denomination.

  4. 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, tutor group, 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. If you have any concerns please contact Mrs S Newby at the School.

Main Benefits

  • Convenient way of paying for school meals. No more looking for change every morning.

  • Discourages the misuse of school dinner money through spending in shops outside of the school grounds.

  • Alleviates many of the associated problems with the use of cash in schools. i.e.: Loss, theft and bullying.

  • Specific food allergy ingredients can be barred automatically.

  • Healthy eating is encouraged.

  • Queuing times are reduced through increased speed of service.

  • Automatic free meal allocation with the pupil remaining anonymous.

  • Having control of pupil accounts by pupils using the I.M.P.A.C.T. System teaches important life skills.

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