Cashless Catering in Secondary Schools
What is Cashless Catering?
This is a system which allows for pupils and staff to pay for meals without handling cash at the Point of Sale (service counter).
How are customers recognised by the system?
Pupils and staff use their National Entitlement Card to be identified at Revaluation Units and Point of Service (service counters).
How is this system used to obtain a School Meal?
Pupils or staff present their National Entitlement Card or enter their PIN number at the Point of Sale (service counter). A display on the till shows the server the pupil or staff member's name, photograph and current cash balance held within the system.
Selected items are entered into the system and the amount spent is deducted from the card. The new cash balance will show up on the display for both the server and the customer.
How is credit put onto a card?
1) Using Cash at Revaluation Units
Cash is deposited at Revaluation Units at desinated locations with the School. Revaluation Units accept £20, £10 & £5 notes or £2, £1, 50p, 20p or 10p coins only. 1p, 2p or 5p coins cannot be used.
2) Payment by Cheque
Cheque payment is made out to 'Aberdeenshire Council' via the Catering office.
The full name and class group of the pupil should be written clearly on the back of the cheque. This will enable the Catering office to accurately identify the pupil account into which to place any payment by cheque.
3) Online Payment to Cashless Catering Accounts
It is now possible to add monies or top up the balance of a pupil's Cashless Catering account via the Council's website.
To do this, start by going online to'; www.aberdeenshire.gov. uk/payschoolmeals or by way of this link - Aberdeenshire Council - Online Payments
- You will be presented with an online form.
- Enter the pupil's details into the form.
- You will then be asked for your Debit/Credit card details and the amount that you wish to pay into the pupil's Cashless Catering account. Payment by credit card will incur an administration charge.
- Once you have completed all fields press SUBMIT.
- Payment will be processed and you will receive a payment reference number via e-mail.
- Payment will normally reach the pupil's account within 1 hour.
Any queries or comments regarding Online Payments to Cashless Catering Accounts can be made by e-mail to the following link Schoolmeals@aberdeenshire.gov.uk
Thank you for making use of Aberdeenshire Council's Cashless Catering Online payment system.
What happens if a pupil forgets to bring their card?
Pupils are provided with their own unique PIN number which provides an alternative means of identification which can be used in these instances. A photograph is displayed on the Point of Sale (service counter) till screen to identify the pupil so Catering staff can confirm that the correct PIN number has been entered.
What if a pupil does not have a sufficient card balance to pay for a purchase?
No pupil is refused a school meal because they have not brought money to school with them. The school will allow for money to be credited a pupil's account. However, the pupil would be expected to repay the loan the next day by re-crediting the system with cash or by cheque payment via the Catering office.
Benefits of the Cashless Catering System
- Provides a convenient way to pay for School Meals.
- Queuing time is reduced as the speed of service is improved.
- Ensures that money given to pupils by parents is spent in school.
- Automatic Free Meal allocation is provided and pupil anonymity is preserved.
- Provides detailed information about choices made by pupils.
- Allows parents to place dietary restrictions for medical reasons onto cards.
Information for pupils entitled to Free School Meals
The system provides the same service for all pupils whether they pay or qualify for Free School Meal entitlement. For pupils who qualify the amount allocated for a Free School Meal will be entered into the system daily and will only be accessible at the lunch break. Any unspent Free Meal Credit is removed after the end of the lunch break.