What is a Cashless System?
At the heart of the cashless system there is computer controlled software that allows the system to recognise each individual student, 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.
How are students recognised by the system?
Each student is issued with their own 'swipe' card registered to the system, when used this will then enter them into the system program and identify their own catering account.
How is this then used to obtain a school meal?
The student simply swipes their card 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 does the revaluation station work?
Firstly the student uses their card on the scanner mounted on the revaluation station to enter the cashless system which will display the student's 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 student be able to check what the current cash balance is held in the system at any one time?
By using the revaluation station, there is no need to deposit any money, just press the red button to finish or via the 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 students 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 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 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 student 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 student can also add extra cash on to their 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.
Will students have problems in using the system?
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.
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 student 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Reports will show:
- Individual payments made direct to the school by cheque or cash and manually entered into the system.
- Every item of food served and the total cost of each serving.
- Each payment made by cash at the revaluation station by the student.
- 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
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 the school.
- 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.
- Queueing times are reduced through increased speed of service.
- Automatic free meal allocation with the pupil remaining anonymous.
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