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Cashless Canteen System

We are pleased to announce that Carmarthenshire Catering Service will be installing a new Biometric Cashless System at Bryngwyn Comprehensive during the forthcoming weeks.  Our desire is to continue to provide and improve on the quality of the school meals service at your school.

 We are sure you will appreciate the advantages that the new system will now offer to both yourself and your child/children.  The system will also enable us to deliver a more efficient, faster service and continue to provide wholesome, healthy, and enjoyable meals.

The new system will start in operation on Monday 11th April 2011; pupils will be informed of and given training on how to use the system prior to the system going live.   Please note that no cash will be accepted at the food counter ‘Till Point’ after this date. 

 For your convenience and to assist us in our administration of the service, a method of payment by cheque will be introduced. A cheque can be made out payable to ‘Carmarthenshire County Council’ and placed into the Post Box provided at the designated area. You will be required to write the full name of pupil and class reference on the back of the cheque and place it in an envelope.

 Any amount of money can be paid into your account held within the system, money spent on food will be taken out of the system and pupils can always check by using the revaluation terminal to see how much they have left.   The catering service is also able to provide reports detailing each item of food served, each credit made to the system, for any time period and show a current balance.

There will be a daily ‘spend limit’ programmed into the system of £3.00, this can be increased or decreased for an individual pupil by making a written request to the school kitchen.

However, should you wish your child/children to continue to bring ‘dinner money’ to school the facility for accepting cash payments will of course always be available.  All cash will have to be entered into the system by using the automatic cash revaluation units and cannot be used to buy food directly at the food counters.  The machines are programmed to accept £20 - £10 - £5 - £2 - £1 - 50p - 20p - 10p coins.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss any issues further, you can contact Sandra Evans direct on (01267) 246485.

Biometric Cashless Catering System

 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 pupil, 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 does a pupil obtain a school meal?

 The pupil will touch a finger image scanner in front of the point of sale touch screen.   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?

 (a)               By ‘Cheque’ payment made payable to ‘Carmarthenshire County Council’ to cover any period.  For example term, 1/2 Term, month or week - or a fixed monetary amount of your own choice.  A Post box to receive payments will be located in the school.

 NB:  To enable the catering office to identify the pupil account in which to place any payment, you are required to write the ‘Full Name and Class group’ of the pupil on the back of the cheque.

If the payment is to be shared between two pupils, you are asked to identify both pupils with full names and class groups.  

 (b)              By ‘Cash Note and Coin’ into an automatic cash revaluation terminal located in the school which is set to accept £20 - £10 - £5 - £2 - £1 - 50p - 20p - 10p coins.  (1p – 2p – 5p coins, can not be used).

 How does the revaluation station work?

 Firstly the pupil puts their finger on the finger recognition reader mounted on the Revaluation Station; the system will then display the pupils name and current cash balance held within the system.

The second stage, coins or notes are inserted into the slot. Each incremental cash   balance will show on the display. Pressing the red button will tell the system that the transaction is completed. 

 How will pupils be able to check what the current cash balance is held in the system at any one time?

 (a)       By using the revaluation station. Pupils place their finger on the reader to display the current cash balance.

 (b)       Also a Remote Display will show the new cash balance when the food service is finished.

 If you pay for a set number of school meals, can it be spent in one day?

 A daily spend limit of (£3.00) will be set for all pupils and no food above that limit can be bought. On request, an individual pupil limit of your choice could be set to include a school dinner and break time snack.

 Pupils in receipt of Free School Meals:

 The system works exactly the same for all pupils whether they pay or have a free school meal.  The amount allocated for the free school meal (currently £2.00) will be entered into the system by the software daily and will be accessible to pupils at breaktime and/or lunchtime. 

The system will then allow on a daily basis the required cash amount for each individual pupil to be allotted to their current cash balance. However, any under spend or missed dinner will be identified by the system but will not be added to the next day’s balance.

The pupil 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.

There will be no more queuing to be issued a ‘free meal’ token or having the pupils name entered into the ‘free meal’ register at the till point.

How will ‘healthy eating’ be encouraged?

After the new system has been implemented, we hope to enhance the school’s healthy eating policy.  When the food is selected on the canteen server’s keypad, it will also register points for a healthy, balanced and nutritious school dinner.

What is meant by ‘dietary control’?

Should your child have a specific food allergy, or be diagnosed diabetic, this medical information can be coded into the system, preventing foods with allergy ingredients from being served to a particular pupil, by automatically locking out relevant buttons on the  keyboard. 

Will pupils have problems in using this system?

 Some pupils may find it difficult to control their accounts for the first couple of weeks, but because of a daily spend limit, most learn this important life skill very quickly and will enjoy being in control of their account. 

Data Handling 

Certain data will be held on the system to enable accurate operation. This will include your child’s name, class, 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.   

 Summary of Features of the Biometric Cashless System


*       Convenience of paying for school meals.  No more looking for change every morning.


*        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 for example loss, theft and bullying.


*        Specific food allergy ingredients can be barred automatically.


*        Healthy eating is encouraged.


*        Queuing times are reduced through increased speed of service.


*        Automatic free meal allocation with the pupil remaining anonymous.  


*        Detailed reports to analyse all aspects of the use of the system.


*        A more efficient delivery of service helps the caterer to provide wholesome, healthy and enjoyable school meals.