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Hinchingbrooke School

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Cashless Catering

Pay on line here:-

How do free school meals work?

Each student who is eligible for free school meals will automatically receive a daily credit on their account of £2.30  They can use this to purchase a meal from the canteen.  The credit will only be available to spend that day on school meal items.  Children receiving free school meals are not distinguishable from children paying with their own money, removing any risk of embarrassment.  

My child receives free school meals, but I want to give them some extra money. Can I still do this?

A free school meal student’s account can be topped up in the same way as any other, usingParentMail2 +Pay, by cheque or via three top up machines which take cash. Topped up funds can be spent when the student chooses, either at break or lunch.  The free school meal element can still only be spent at lunch.

What will happen if my child’s free school meal entitlement has expired?

It is the parent’s responsibility to apply for free school meals.  The school will write to parents to remind them to complete the relevant forms in advance of the expiry date.  Where the school has not received the correct forms by the expiry date we will be unable to provide a free meal and any purchases will have to be paid for.

How do I pay over the internet?

Payments over the internet can be made using the PMX+Pay facility.  Parents can register for ParentMail PMX by emailing Payment can be made by credit card or debit card by logging into your account. The payment is credited to your child’s account and available to spend immediately after. The minimum top up amount will be £10.

I don’t have a credit or debit card and want to pay by cash, how do I do this?

Your child’s account can be topped up by making cash payments at the top up machines in school (This can only be done by your child) or by making cheques payable to “Chartwells” which need to go to the Main Reception. Please note this can take 5-10 working days for funds to be added to the catering account.
Your child can top their account with cash at the cash-loading machine in the Food Court

How often should I top up my child’s account?

You can top up as little or as often as you wish.  The fullest convenience of the system is gained by topping up less frequently and this reduces administration costs for the school.

I want to top up once per term, but don’t want my child to spend all the money straight away.

The system has a limit of £5 per day for each student to spend.  If you wish this to be changed, please let Chartwells know by ringing 01480 375700 know.

I already have two children at Hinchingbrooke, can I top up both accounts at once?

You will initially be issued with one login for each child.  We anticipate that we will be able to merge these accounts in due course.

How will the student be able to check the balance on their account?

     - by placing their finger on the Top Up station, their current balance will be displayed
     - the till display will show the account balance after each purchase.

What if the student does not have sufficient funds in their account to pay for a school meal?

Arrangements can be made for the student to have a lunch loan and the money will then be deducted from the account when funds are available. The students should visit the Lower or Middle School Office to request a loan.

Why does Hinchingbrooke need to use a biometric cashless system.  Would a card or PIN based system not be just as good?

The biometric system is very similar to a card or PIN based system, but avoids the problems of loss, theft and bullying that can come with cards or PIN.  We want the system to be as easy to use as possible, for students, parents and staff.  A biometric system allows this.

What will the personal data held in the system be used for?

The data will only be used for the implementation and operation of the cashless catering system.  Data will not be passed to third parties except where necessary for the implementation of the system.  Data will be deleted from the system when a student leaves the school and will be processed according to the Data Protection Act 1998.

Do I need to give consent to the processing of data about my child?   

Most of the data used in the operation of the cashless system is already held by the school and has been provided by you or your child e.g. name, tutor group, free school meal entitlement.  Biometric data is the only new information that is required for the operation of the cashless system. 

We require consent from at least one parent to be given to use biometric information. If a parent wishes, they can withhold consent by writing to the school; letters should be addressed to the Head of Operations at Hinchingbrooke School. In such circumstances a card or PIN will be issued which can be used to top up and access the child’s account in the same way as using the child’s finger. Replacement cards will cost £5 each.

How is the database kept secure? 

Biometric data is encrypted using military grade encryption technologies (as used by national governments).  Access to the system is password protected and is only available to authorised personnel.  Regular backups are taken of the data.  The server is physically secured in a locked room with access only available to authorised personnel.

It is worth repeating that no image of a fingerprint is stored, only key measurements are taken and converted into a unique number.  This number cannot be converted back to any measurements or fingerprint image.

For more information on the system we will be using please see the manufacturer’s website