This is a system that incorporates the latest technology, eliminating the need for your child to carry cash throughout the school day. Instead, children carry a card which they swipe at the point of sale to identify themselves to the system. A photograph of the child appears on the till and is viewed by the catering assistant. This ensures that a child cannot make purchases on another child’s account. This system offers the following advantages:
- Healthy eating is encouraged as the school’s kitchens comply with the national nutritional standards for school food;
- 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;
- Queuing times are reduced through increased speed of service;
- Automatic free meal allocation with the student remaining anonymous;
- Parents are able to limit spending and can see reports of their child’s eating habits.
A card is issued by the school in year 7 and, even if your child does not require this for lunch, it must be retained as it will be required for use in year 11 for access through security gates for exams and transfer to post-16 where it is used to register on site. The cards will be recalled in year 11 for gate access to be added. A replacement card costs £2 should it be damaged, lost or stolen. The card remains the property of the school.
We have two methods by which money can be paid into a child’s account. Our preferred method of payment is to place money on your child’s account through our secure online payment system SIMS Pay, formerly Agora. If you have yet to register for SIMS Pay please email firstname.lastname@example.org and details of how to register will be sent to you. In order to keep administration costs down, you should make a minimum transaction payment of £20. A cash payment option has been maintained, however, we would request that parents avoid its use except in special circumstances. There is a pay point (called a revaluation machine) placed in the canteen area of the main school for children (years 7-11) and one in the post-16 centre, whereby cash can be placed onto the account. These take paper notes and silver coins but no copper coins. This should be done before the start of the school day, at break or lunchtime but not during lesson time. Payment by this method is not ideal since we are attempting to create a cashless school and it fails to provide you with the full parental control this system offers.
Parents have the opportunity to set a child’s spending limit for each day or for each part of the day at breakfast club, break and lunchtime. By default, we will set the spending limit to £4.00 per day, unless you inform us otherwise. You can also request a report of your child’s purchases.