Catering at St Peter’s is run by external caterers, Chartwells, who are part of the nationwide Compass Group, providing catering to a large number of primary and secondary schools across the country. St Peter’s catering is operated via a cashless catering system. The system incorporates the latest technology and eliminates the need for students to carry cash throughout the day, thus reducing the risk of loss.
Benefits of the Trust-e Cashless Catering System
- Increased speed of service reducing queuing times
- Increased uptake on Free School Meals
- Anonymity on Free School Meals, reducing bullying
- Facility to pay online
- No need to carry cash preventing loss/theft
- Automatic alerts to stop pupils purchasing allergy trigger items
- Students learn about important lifestyle control by monitoring their own accounts
- Reporting facilities help decrease wastage and improve the overall efficiency of the meal service
In line with many other schools, the system operates on a biometric basis, so there is no need for students to even carry a card as the system will recognise the thumb of your child at the revaluation pay point and at the tills. Biometrics are made up of code and cannot be recreated into a useable finger print image. The system falls under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and as such, neither the school or Chartwells, can allow access to this data by any other means than for the purpose the data was collected. Any biometric data that belongs to an individual that leaves the school is removed from the records.
Our cashless catering system links with Parentpay so that you are able to see what your child purchases and how much money they have left on their account. We are able to issue paypoint cards, if necessary, which allow you to credit cash to your child’s catering card at your local paypoint outlet. Please remember to top up your child’s catering account as cash is not accepted in school.
Any amount of money can be paid into a student’s account via the ParentPay online portal, with any money spent on food and drink being deducted on a daily basis. If you have not previously registered for a ParentPay account or have mislaid your log on information, please contact the School Finance Office. Students who are new to St Peter’s will be given the initial login information when they attend their taster day. In addition to the ParentPay online system, students may reload their accounts by coin or note at the revaluation pay point located outside the Student Hub. A daily spend limit of £5 is programmed into the system, however, this can be increased or decreased for an individual student on receipt of a written parental request to the Finance Office.
In line with legislation, we will be operating an ‘Opt In’ policy to use this facility. If you choose not to have your child registered on the Biometric System a 4 digit PIN Code will be allocated. Please note that PIN Codes do not have the same level of security and it will be your child’s responsibility to remember the code and keep it secure at all times.
If you require any further assistance with cashless catering the Finance Office can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01202 421141 asking for the Finance Team.
Special Dietary needs?
If you child has a special dietary need please obtain a request form by emailing Gillian.email@example.com or speaking directly to the kitchen team.
Cashless Catering Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cashless system?
A Cashless Catering System is a solution which is purpose designed to meet the ever-evolving needs and demands of the catering provision, required by today’s schools and academies. The Trust-e Cashless Solution allows schools to be better able to provide their students and staff with a faster, more efficient and more appealing meal service.
What is ‘Biometric’?
Biometric is simply a method of identifying an individual person. The Trust-e Cashless System uses and algorithm-based scan, which reads between 50 and 130 points on the finger/thumb. It is not a fingerprint in any way, shape or form and is of use only in the Cashless System.
How does a biometric system work?
The information of a student or staff member, who has been biometrically registered, is stored on a secure biometric controller within the school, which only your provider, Nationwide Retail Systems, can access with permission from the school. Once an account is credited, the student or staff member places their finger/thumb on the EPOS Terminal Biometric Reader, which looks up their account and allows them to purchase items using only this method of identification.
How does my child register on the biometric system?
The registration will take place ideally when your child attends their taster day, or alternatively as soon as they commence at St Peter’s. Your child will attend at a requested time and will be required to place their finger/thumb on the Biometric Reader twice to obtain a matching template, which only takes a few seconds. If you have chosen to opt-out of this procedure, your child will be presented with a 4 digit PIN code.
What method of payment can be used to credit an account?
Any amount can be credited to an account by way of any of the following methods. Once an account has been credited, the monies cannot be withdrawn and must be spent on the school meal/break services.
- Cash – The revaluation unit is sited in the main School Reception building, close to the Student Hub. This can be used to top up accounts by the student/member of staff placing their registered finger or thumb on the Biometric Reader; swiping or tagging their registered card or by entering their 4 digit PIN Code followed by inserting the accepted tender: £20, £10, £5 notes or £2, £1, 50p, 20p, 10p or 5p coins. Please note that copper coins are not accepted.
- Online Payments – We have introduced online payments via ParentPay. To make a payment online please go to
www.ParentPay.com. If you need a reminder of the initial logon password please contact the Finance Office.
- PayPoint – You may request a PayPoint card, which can be used to top up your child’s account at your local PayPoint stores. Payments via PayPoint will take up to 48 hours to be credited to the appropriate account. You can find your local stores by visiting the website www.paypoint.co.uk/locator.aspx.
How can I check the credit on an account?
This can be done by the account holder, either placing their finger/thumb on the Revaluation Machine scanner, swiping or tagging their card or entering a 4 digit PIN code. The current balance will then be displayed. This can also be accessed via the school’s online payment facility.
Can I change my child’s daily spend limit?
Yes – the amount your child can spend throughout one day can be changed by written request to St Peter’s School Finance Office. The current spend limit in place is £5.00.
What happens if my child’s account is not in credit?
Students are not permitted to go into debt, so please keep a close eye on the balance via ParentPay online.
How do ‘free meal’ entitlements work?
All free meal entitlements will be entered on to the system prior to the ‘live’ day. The Cashless Catering System will, on a daily basis, automatically allocate the appropriate accounts with the free school meal amounts. Students with Free School Meal entitlement remain anonymous at all times as all account types are accessed in the exact same manner, regardless of whether paid for or not. Please note that any monies not spent from the daily free meal allocation will not be carried over to the next day.
Can anyone else use my child’s account?
No – due to the extensive security on biometric templates, no-one will be able to access your child’s account. As a secondary precaution, a photo image is allocated to each student. If your child is using a 4 digit PIN code, which someone obtains and attempts to use, the photograph shown at the EPOS Terminal will alert the operator of a fraudulent sale.
My child has an allergy. Will this be monitored through the Cashless System?
Yes – all allergy records registered with the school will be entered on to the Cashless System. When students attempt to purchase an item, which contains ingredients that they are allergic to, the system will alert the operator and prevent them from selling the chosen item.
Can I dictate my child’s dietary requirements?
The system will allow you to register any items that your child cannot consume due to dietary needs or religious reasons. Any such items must be confirmed in writing by the parent/guardian, and addressed to the Catering Manager.
What is a biometric algorithm?
The individual templates are encrypted using a 256 bit AES key that is built into the scanners hardware. Also, the persisted file is encrypted using a different 256 bit AES key built into the matching algorithm supplied by Secugen and generated by a unique license purchased for each site. This is more secure than the ANSII and ISO standards that government department’s use as the Secugen Template is encrypted and the ANSII and ISO standards are not. The template data is useless and cannot be interpreted back into a usable fingerprint image. If this was not the case then there would be no world standards and performance measures for such technologies. The data is stored in an array in the RAM of the Biometric Controller and is also permanently stored on the hard drive of the Bio Controller to be restored in the event of a reboot. Below is an example of a template code for an individual finger.
0X417741414142514141414445415141414151415341414D415A41414141414 14174774541414C714777346C5869656D6C574945494A764A6B42466D68376 16C4E764D704F517874517A706A4A395A31784935686C4177395366726E777 645576357386C4573314B426F47443166694170675559704C76316842364268 2A7043
The solution is secure because the matching can only be done by the individual’s consent as the finger has to be presented to the device for matching. We do not hold images of fingerprints in our system.
The technology provided for this method of identification meets with BECTA guidelines and also allows students the option to opt out of the scheme and use a PIN number instead. Also, under the data protection act the school or caterer (the originator of the data) cannot allow access to this data by anyone for any other means than for the purpose the data was collected and that is to identify an individual within the solution we supply. Any biometric data that belongs to an individual that leaves the school is purged which also is in line with the BECTA guidelines.