Guide to the Cashless System
Lealands High School runs a cashless card and facial recognition system in our dining area and in the Atrium, commonly used in many other schools. The system is efficient and prevents students having to carry lunch money around school and avoids any problems caused by loss of cash. 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.
Students and parents should be aware of the prices of the different items of food and drinks at break time and lunchtime.
- A week of full meals (main course and desert) costs £11.00.
- A week of snacks at break time could cost £8.00
- One drink a day, for a week, can cost up to £5.50.
- Filtered and chilled water is always available from the water machines – it is much healthier and free!
Students should keep track of what they are spending at break time and lunchtime. Parents are encouraged to set limits for their children and get to know what their children are purchasing.
Students should be aware that:
- They cannot spend their FSM money on drinks. In order to buy these items they will have to have money on their account.
- If they buy a grab bag at break time with their FSM money, it will not be available to spend at lunchtime.
- If they have not purchased their lunch at break time, they should leave £2.20 in their account if they want to purchase a full meal at lunchtime.
The Cashless System
How are students recognised by the system?
Each student will have their individual payment card registered. When used, this will then enter them into the system program. From 15th September 2022, we will have new till system in place that will enable students to pay using facial recognition software making school meal purchases completely contactless.
How is this then used to obtain a school meal?
The student simply places their card on a scanner at the point of sale; a display will show the server the student’s name, tutor group 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 do I put money on my child’s canteen account?
The online payments system can be accessed via the Lealands High School website homepage (click on the £ sign) or go to www.scopay.com/lealandshigh. Money can then be added to the student's account using a debit/credit card. When a student joins the school parents/carers will be issued a letter with a link code to set up this account.
How will the student be able to check what the current cash balance is held in the system at any one time?
- A remote display at the point of sale will show the new cash balance when the food service is finished.
- Parents/carer’s should check balances online regularly.
If we pay for a set number of school meals, can it be spent in one day?
Yes. A student can make as many purchases as they want. However, on request, a spend limit can be set on individual students.
What if the student does not hold a sufficient cash balance one day to pay for a school dinner?
As before, no student is refused a school dinner because they do not have sufficient funds on the day. The school will allow for the student to borrow money for one day. However, the student would be expected to top up their online account by the next day to repay the loan.
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 lunch break or at break time if purchasing a grab bag.
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 underspend or missed dinner will be identified by the system and will not be added to the next day’s balance.
The student/parent can also add extra cash onto the child’s balance in the system by using the online system 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 be used for break time snacks.
Specialist Dietary Requirements
Should a student have a specialist dietary requirement this 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. If a child has specific dietary requirements, it is important that parents/carers inform the school by completing the form which can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this page in order for the relevant codes to be entered into the system.
Will we be able to have any information on how the system is being used?
When you log into the online SCOPAY account you can view balances of your childs account, and a purchase/top up history.
Certain data will be held on the system to enable accurate operation. This will include the student’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 Business Manager.
Main Benefits of the cashless system
- It is a convenient way of paying for school meals. No more looking for change every morning.
- It discourages the misuse of school dinner money through spending in shops outside of the school grounds.
- It 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.
- It allows automatic free meal allocation with the student remaining anonymous.
- It is able to generate detailed reports to analyse all aspects of the use of the system.
- Having control of student accounts by students using the system teaches important life skills.
- It enables a more efficient delivery of service, helping the caterer to provide wholesome, healthy and enjoyable school meals at a low cost.