The option of making online payments directly into secondary pupils’ cashless catering accounts is being rolled out across Aberdeenshire.
Cashless catering allows pupils and staff to pay for meals by using an account linked to their National Entitlement Card and credit is currently added to pupils’ accounts by cash or cheque.
The council says the addition of an online payment option being made available on its website will make the process even more efficient and convenient for users.
The introduction of cashless catering was completed in all the region’s secondary schools in March resulting in many benefits for pupils and staff, such as reduced queuing times in school dining rooms and the assurance of anonymity for pupils in receipt of free school meals.
Using the link on the council’s website, parents and guardians can now add money directly to a pupil’s account. All payments will be credited to the account within 30 minutes and a receipt giving details of the payment will be sent by email.
The benefit of online payment means parents can ensure their children are eating lunch at school, where they will have a choice of nutritionally balanced options, and do not have to worry about giving pupils money to load onto their card each week.
At food service points, pupils make their selections and present their card and a display shows the server the name, photograph, class and current cash balance held within the system.
The selected food items are entered and the amount spent, as well as the new cash balance, are shown on the display at the till allowing pupils to see their total spend and current balance.
Chair of the council’s education, learning and leisure committee, Councillor Isobel Davidson, said: “The introduction of the online payments for cashless catering makes the process even more convenient for parents and means they no longer have to worry about giving their children cash to take to school every week.”
For more information, visit www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/schools/school_meals