Cashless Catering Consent

[17 Oct 2022]

Dear Parent/Carer


We are pleased to inform you that our catering provider is now in a position to offer a cashless payment system in the school dining rooms with effect from Monday 21st November 2022. For the first week, the dining rooms will operate in tandem with a cash system, moving to online payments only from Monday 28th November.


Payments for meals can be made through the online payment system operated by the school (SCOpay). Letters to create student accounts were sent out in the summer term for students in years 8 – 13 and more recently for the current year 7 students. You can request a copy of the letter if needed, from [email protected] . Please note that the option to add monies for school meals will not appear in SCOpay until after half term.


Any problems you may have with using the online payment system should be addressed to the finance team, (option 5 on the switchboard), or by email to [email protected]


Children entitled to free school meals will have their account automatically topped up to the equivalent of £2.50 per day. This allowance will only be able to be spent during lunchtime (as is current practice), however parents are still welcome to top up their child’s online account to enable purchases to be made during morning break.


The catering system uses a biometric reader to identify your child, using a data capture of your child’s fingerprint. Please note that the data capture only records certain aspects of a fingerprint and then encrypts the information within the system – please do refer to the FAQs below or contact the school’s Data Protection Officer if you have any concerns. Students who are opted out of the biometric system will be offered an alternative method of identifying themselves at the pay point.


Following the installation of the system, all students of the school will use the same method of payment in the dining rooms, removing the need for students eligible for free school meals to show their planner. In doing this, we are hopeful that more of our students who are entitled to free school meals will take the opportunity to purchase a meal at school.


The data capture for all students will take place Tuesday 15th November. In order to ensure your child is ready to use the new system, please provide consent by completing the link in the “News” section of the school website or alternatively return the slip below to your child’s form tutor by Friday 21st October.


Yours sincerely




Kate Parker-Randall


Please read the FAQs below for further information


Why are you using biometric recognition?

Biometric recognition converts physical characteristics into a unique digital signature that can be used to quickly and securely local your child’s cashless catering account.  This helps speed up service and eliminates the requirement to carry cash or an alternative method of access, such as a card that can be lost or stolen.


How does it work?

When the child places their finger on the scanner or looks at the camera, the software reads key features (unique patterns on a finger print) and compares this against the database of registered users.  When it finds a match it automatically opens their cashless catering account allowing the operator to complete the sale of their school meals.


Can these biometrics registrations be used by any other agency?

The answer to the above question is “No”, the software turns your child’s physical characteristics into an encrypted (using AES 256) string of characters known as a template (no fingerprint image is ever stored).  Even if someone were to be able to gain access to the data and break the encryption, this template does not contain enough information to reverse engineer into a usable fingerprint.


What happens when my child leaves the school?

When a student leaves school biometric data can be deleted very easily. This will be done during the following academic year.


I don’t wish to give permission for my child to participate with biometric recognition, can my chid still purchase school meals?

Yes, an alternative method of authentication will be available.


What if I change my mind?

If you initially opt-in for your child to use biometric recognition but later change your mind, contact the school and we will remove the permission from the system which will automatically remove any biometric data associated with your child and provide your child with an alternative method of authentication.




Biometrics opt-in form


Please complete this form