Cashless Catering

Cashless Catering - Biometric System

We operate a cashless catering system in school which uses a digitally encrypted fingerprint registration and recognition system.  This is solely for catering purposes only, so that money does not exchange hands and purchases of school lunches, food and beverages is electronic.  Catering Tills do not take cash.  Food and drink may only be purchased by fingerprint. 

The system does not store fingerprints but translates a fingerprint into a unique biometric identification code purely for use at our catering tills. Each student has their own unique account registered to them and their own unique fingerprint to operate and access their account. 

You can add money to your child’s cashless catering account using Parent Pay (this is our recommended and preferred method) or they can manually top up their account with cash at 3 revaluation pay-point machines around school.  When a student starts school at Gateacre, parents automatically receive a letter confirming their unique Parent Pay account and ID information.  Please keep this safe.

Student biometric/catering records are permanently deleted when they leave.  This system provides obvious safeguarding benefits for students and efficiency at the food serving points as no money changes hands, so students do not have to carry cash around school.  Parents do not need to give children cash to take to school for lunches (and school trips) and are instead encouraged to keep their child’s cashless catering account topped up automatically using the Parent Pay system by debit card or credit card.  This gives you peace of mind that money for lunch is safe and being used for that purpose only or for payment of school trips when indicated. If parents do not consent to biometric registration by indicating NO on the permission form, a lunch card can be issued alternatively however, a replacement charge of £5 will be levied to issue a replacement if the card is lost, and in every instance.

Biometric Information for parents and Biometric Consent is sought during the enrolment process, please complete in full every field of the data collection form in your welcome pack.

This encrypted digital unique identification is stored securely in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and is not transferred, accessed or used for any other purpose than cashless catering (school dinners).


Parent Pay

Following the successful introduction of our cashless payment system for the purchase of all meals and snacks in school we now have a secure online payment portal to provide an alternative way of crediting money to the system.

Students will still be able to use the automatic cash revaluation machines to top up their accounts but parents/carers will also be able to credit money directly to an account using credit/debit cards via our ParentPay system. It is hoped that this will be useful, especially when paying larger amounts for trips, visits, events and additional lessons etc.

To make payments online, parents/carers need to set up their own personal account. Please click here to access the ParentPay payment portal and to set up an account.

Click here to download a guide to our online payments system.

Having problems topping up online?

If you are having problems with your ParentPay account, please contact our Finance Department on 0151 363 1111.


Making payments for school using PayPoint stores

You can make payments for school in cash by visiting any store displaying the yellow and purple PayPoint sign. 

To find out where you can pay please click here enter your full post code to receive a list of your nearest stores.

Free Bus Pass

If you are eligible for Free School Meals you may also be entitled to a Free Bus Pass check the link here to complete the appropriate form.

16-19 Bursary Fund

Get help to pay for essential education-related costs if you’re 16 to 19 and in further education or training.

The Bursary Fund can help pay for costs like, equipment you might need for your course, lunch and transport to and from your school or college.

You could get a bursary of £1,200 a year if you’re:

  • In care or a care leaver.
  • Claiming Income Support.
  • Disabled and getting Employment and Support Allowance, and Disability Living Allowance.

If you aren’t in one of these groups, you could still get a bursary depending on your personal circumstances. Click here for further information.