An insight to the cashless school system for parents and students

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 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 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 student 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 is money entered into the system?

  • By ‘Cash Note and Coin’ into an automatic cash revaluation terminal located in the school which is set to accept £20 – £10 – £5 Notes £2 – £1 – 50p – 20p – 10p coins. (1p – 2p – 5p coins, cannot be used)
  • By Parentpay our e-payment system which offers you the freedom to make payments whenever and wherever you like. You will have a secure online account, activated using a unique set of activation codes. ParentPay holds an electronic record of your payments to view at a later date but no card details are stored in any part of the system. If you have two or more children at the school, you can merge their accounts once logged in.

How does the revaluation station work? 
Firstly the student 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 students name and current cash balance held within the system.

How will the student be able to check what the current cash balance is held in the system at any one time? 
(a) 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.
(b) 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 (£ 6.00) (or a selected amount) will be set for all students and no food above that limit can be bought. On request, an individual student limit of your choice could also be set, to include a school dinner 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 only be accessible at dinner break.

The student 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.

What is meant by ‘dietary control’? 
Should the student 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 student, by automatically locking out relevant buttons on the keyboard.

Will we be able to have any information on how the system is being used? 
Reports can 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, and can be obtained from the Parentpay website.    

  • To show every item of food served and the total cost of each serving.
  • Individual payments made direct to the school by cheque or cash and manually entered into the system.
  • Each payment made by cash at the revaluation station by the student and if required, even the number of individual coins and the denomination.
  • 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, class, 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 office.

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