Cashless catering

[11 Nov 2022]


10th November 2022



Dear Parent/Carer


I am writing to remind you that the school’s catering provider will be moving to an online payment system with effect from Monday 21st November. During the first week a cash and online system will be run in tandem, however cash will not be accepted from Monday 28th November onwards.


In order for your child to have an easy transition to this system, two things are needed:


Firstly – consent is required for your child to use a data capture of their finger, which is converted to a unique digital signature as a method of identification. If you are unsure about this information being recorded, please do read the FAQ’s overleaf, or ask to speak to the Data Protection Officer. Many parents have already given consent, however if you have not yet done this please complete the link in the News section of the school’s website by Sunday 13th November. The data capture will take place in school on Tuesday 15th November.


The school has chosen this method of identification for the cashless system to make it easier for students as it removes the need for them to handle anything other than their purchases. The alternative to this is a MiFare sticker that will be affixed in the student’s planner, which would need to be scanned at the pay point.


Secondly an online account needs to be set up for all students with SCOpay. The school will be using SCOpay for payment of all school trips and events, as well as for the payment of school dinners. If you haven’t yet signed up for SCOpay and are unable to find the letter containing the instructions and codes to be able to do so, please email [email protected] to request a copy as soon as possible.


Using SCOpay will enable you to monitor your child’s spending and see what they have purchased from the school kitchen. It is also possible to set a daily spend limit. This will initially be set at £5.00 per day, but should you like this adjusting, please contact the school on the above email address.


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.



Yours sincerely



Kate Parker-Randall



Frequently Asked Questions:



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, the software reads key features (unique patterns on a finger) 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.