Westbourne Food Hall

Cashless Catering

The construction of the new Westbourne Food Hall and the entire new catering concept in 2013 finally gave us the opportunity to introduce cashless catering.

Each student (and staff member) has a School Money account which they use to pay for their food/drinks, reducing queuing and speeding up service.  They are able to pay into this account either in cash at PayPoint outlets or online via a debit/credit card. At the till they simply enter their four digit pin number, which they are given during their induction.

Benefits of a cashless system

  • Increases the privacy of free school meal entitled students (and parents can top up the account of FSM entitled students for the purchase of additional snacks or drinks)
  • Because money is loaded onto an electronic account, parents can be sure it is not being spent on sweets etc
  • Removes many of the associated issues found when using cash in schools (e.g. theft and bullying)
  • Numerous reports can be produced allowing parents to know exactly what their son/daughter has been eating and at what cost
  • The system has the added benefit of speeding up the lunch time queues which will mean students spend less time queuing
  • Parents have the option to limit their child’s daily spend
  • There are no cards to be lost or forgotten

Q – What is a Cashless System?

A – Cashless simply means that at the service point (i.e. the till) customers don’t use money, instead they prove their identity and the value of the purchase is taken from their ‘account’. This means that service is faster, and also allows for quick and easy (and transparent) processing of Free School Meals.

Q – How does the system work?

A – Once the student or teacher has registered the date on the system, it is stored on our own secure server (and only we have access to it).

Q – How do we add funds to the account?

A – You can pay online using School Money or via PayPoint at participating outlets such as the Coop.  To use PayPoint you need to ask for unique barcode for your child from our Data Team. There is a minimum online top up amount of £5. Payments made via PayPoint take up to 4 working days to reach your child’s account.

Q – Can I stop my child spending it all in one day?

A – Yes, there is a default daily spend limit of £5 applied at the till. If you wish to change this you need to send a written request to Mrs Hanson in the Data Team office. Changes can take up to 48 hours to take effect.

Q – What happens to the balance in my child’s account when they leave Westbourne?

A – We will refund any balances over £5 if requested.  Alternatively the balance may be transferred to a sibling. Balances under £5 cannot be transferred.