The College Refectory recently underwent a major refit and extension, creating a much more pleasant environment for school meals, with far less queuing. The Refectory uses a “cashless” system to enable students to purchase food and drink - no cash will be accepted in the Refectory.
Similar systems are used in many schools nationally, bringing a number of important benefits:
· A faster, more efficient service, so that queuing time is reduced, enabling us to cater for greater numbers of students
· Parents can pay over the Internet for their children’s meals, or, if necessary, pay by cheque, cutting out the need for students to carry cash.
· Parents can have increased confidence that dinner money is used to buy food from the refectory, and not for sweets etc.
· Students entitled to free school meals will have a daily credit automatically applied to their account and this entitlement remains completely confidential, thus preventing any embarrassment about claiming free school meals.
· The system can be used to help to encourage “healthy eating”.
Each student has an account that can be “topped up” on-line using our internet payment facility, or by cheque or cash at the Finance Office. The system uses biometric identification, a similar system is also used in the College Library. This means that each student has a unique code which is generated using their thumbprints. The tills in the refectory recognise their thumbprint, and charges their food and drink to that unique code. No images of the thumbprints are stored in the system, and thumbprints cannot be reproduced; this system is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act.
You can make payments to your child’s account over the Internet by using “World Pay”, a secure system operated by one of the major UK banks. If you do not have internet access, your child can top up their account with a cheque or cash (minimum £10) at the Finance Office. You are also very welcome to come in to College to top up your child’s account during the last week of the summer holiday.
Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions, but if you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are sure that students will find this system just as easy and convenient to use as the existing biometric recognition system in the Library, and that parents will appreciate the advantages of reducing the need for students to carry cash in College.
Thank you for your kind co-operation in ensuring that you pay in to your child’s account in good time for the start of the autumn term.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Cashless System?
A cashless system means that we do not take cash payments in the Refectory. Each student has their own account, and parents can pay in to their account over the internet, or by cheque or cash at the Finance Office (minimum £10). The tills in the Refectory will recognise each individual student, and hold details of how much is in their account. The till will deduct the cost of their meal from the student’s account balance. It also records where and when money is spent and on what.
How are students and staff recognised and a meal obtained?
Students and staff each have a unique code which is generated by their thumbprint. When they press their thumb on the scanner at the Refectory till, it will show the student’s first and last name, their tutor group and their current balance.
How is money entered into the system?
Our preferred method is by internet payment, accessed via the College website. You will receive a username and password during the summer holiday.
If you do not have internet access, cheques (minimum £10) should be made payable to WSCCand taken to the Finance Office where they will be added to the student’s account. You can pay for a term, a half term, a month or a week, or just pay a lump sum. Cheques should be in a sealed envelope with the student’s name and tutor group, and ‘school meals’ clearly marked on the back of the cheque. Cash (minimum £10) can also be added to the student’s account in the same way.
NB : The funds are held on the student’s account within the computer programme, so the system is very secure.
If a lump sum is paid, can it all be spent in one day?
You can request that a daily spend is set for your child if required.
Can a student go “overdrawn”?
No – we regret that credit cannot be offered.
What is the process for “free school meal” students?
We strongly encourage you to register for Free School Meals if you are eligible to do so. Free school meal students will have their daily allowance available on their account and the system will then work in exactly the same way as for other students. Meals not taken will NOT carry over to the following day. Parents can, if they wish, “top up” their child’s account for extra purchases.
How can the implementation of a cashless cafeteria encourage healthy eating?
Through continued use of the system the College will be able to analyse what is being eaten and when. We will then be able to adjust our menus accordingly. Reports can be supplied listing the individual items that students are purchasing.
A clear advantage of this system is that it ensures that school meal money is spent on healthy food and not on sweets etc in the shops on the way to College.