In the past students have been given a card to enable them to purchase food from the restaurant, or top up their accounts. This method addressed problems with the existing system by removing money from the classroom and taking away the stigma attached to free school meals. Parents were sure lunch money was being spent correctly and they could even monitor what their children were eating.
By introducing Biometrics (finger print data), we removed the need for pupils to remember their card or Pin numbers and alleviated the chance of identity fraud. Caterers enjoy even faster speed of service as students no longer had to search for swipe cards and therefore hold up the queue. Finally, the school benefits by saving money on cards and the administrative staff save valuable time by no longer having to issue new cards.
Students, Parents and Staff, can rest assured that the fingerprint data cannot be used by any other source or identification purposes. The system uses an image of the fingerprint to create a mathematical algorithm and then discards the fingerprint. Only the numbers remain and these cannot be reinterpreted back into a fingerprint image. Finger print registration is purely voluntary and those not wishing to sign up will still be able to use the system by way of a pin number. From 1 September 2013 changes came into force under the new Protections of Freedoms Act relating to the use of biometric data in schools. These changes require the school to obtain written consent from at least one parent for the use of biometric data including taking of finger images.
When joining the School, your child will receive a consent letter asking you to give consent for your child’s biometric data to be used for this purpose. Your child cannot use the system in this way without your written consent. Please let us know if you would prefer to withhold your consent, as alternative transaction arrangements can be made for your child.
You will also receive a letter with details on how to create your online sQuid account, which enables you to;
- Check account balances
- Top up the account from your bank account, credit or debit card
- View your son or daughter’s transactions
- Update your details
- Students who receive a free school meal will have their account automatically credited with the daily allowance at lunchtime, if they wish to eat at break they will have to top up with cash.
- Students will be able to add cash to top up their account if they wish, at the Cashloaders available in the dining areas.
- The Cashloaders take notes and coins.
- In September the students will need to top up in school until your sQuid account has been set up.
- When your sQuid account is active online top usually takes 15 minutes before it is available to use on the students account.
We have operated this Cashless biometric system since November 2012 and believe that both Parents/Carers and children have benefited from its use. Should you have any questions regarding cashless catering please contact your child’s Head of Year.