Catering - FAQ

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 student, 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 are pupils recognised by the system?

Each student will have their fingerprint registered which will then be translated to an Alpha Numeric number, the image is then discarded, when used this will then enter them into the system program and identify them by a number.

How is this then used to obtain a school meal?

The student simply places their finger on a scanner at the point of sale; a display will show the server the student’s name, year group 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.

What if the student does not hold a sufficient cash balance one day to pay for a school dinner?

As before, no student is refused a school dinner because they have not brought their dinner money to school with them. The school will allow for the student to loan money for one day.  However, just as before, the student would be expected to bring some money with them the next day to repay the loan and re-credit the system by using the revaluation station or by cheque payment to  ‘’.

What about students entitled to a ‘free school meal’?

The system works exactly the same for all students whether they pay or have a free school meal.  All students have their own account to use in exactly the same way.

The amount allocated for the free school meal will be entered into the system by the software daily and will only be accessible at dinner break.

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

The student 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. As this allowance can only be spent on a school dinner, extra cash added into the system can also be used for break time snacks.

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

How will ‘healthy eating’ be encouraged?

After the new system has been operating for a while, 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 balanced, healthy and nutritious school dinner. At the end of the term the top scoring students will be identified and the winner receives an award.

What is meant by ‘dietary control’?

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

Will students have problems in using this system?

Some students 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.

Will we be able to have any information on how the system is being used?

Reports can be obtained from the system giving comprehensive information on all aspects of use for each individual student as well as each day’s service.  These reports can be for a specific day or between any dates you wish, they will be dated and timed to the minute, and can be obtained from the Catering Department.

  1. To show every item of food served and the total cost of each serving.
  2. Individual payments made direct to the school by cheque or cash and manually entered into the system.
  3. Each payment made by cash at the revaluation station by the student and if required, even the number of individual coins and the denomination.

A total overview to show the date, time and location with cost of  each purchase, value of all manual cheque or cash payments, value of all cash deposited in the revaluation station and current cash balance

Beaufort Finance Team

Currently Closed, Due to Academy hours

Student Finance Related Enquiries

e: [email protected]

t: 01452 301381