Using the Canteen
We operate a cashless system in the school canteen facilitated by Wisepay. The school does not accept cash.
We operate a four week menu cycle.
The canteen is open at the following times:
Mid Morning Break
The Food Cube (6th Formers only) is open at the following times:
Mid Morning Break
Food and drinks may be purchased in our canteen for breakfast, morning break and lunch break. All food is fresh, healthy and nutritious with main meals providing a balanced diet at good value. Canteen menus and prices can be found on the school website www.finchleycatholic.org.uk.
For a number of years now, we have operated a cashless biometric system.
What is a Cashless System?
A cashless system is used for payment of school meals, where no cash is taken at the point of sale. Each student using the system will be allocated an account. This information is held on a secure server and stores details of individual balances, records money spent and money received, what food money has been spent on and the exact date and time of the purchase.
How are students recognised by the biometric system?
All students will have their finger scanned. This finger scan will be converted into a number and stored on the system against that individual. Once the finger scan has been taken, it is automatically converted to numeric form. No register of fingerprints is kept and it is impossible to reconstitute a fingerprint from the numeric reference.
How does your child obtain a school meal?
Your child will touch a finger recognition image scanner in front of the point of sale screen. A display will show the server the pupil’s name, class and current cash balance held within the system. The selected food items will be entered into the system from touch screen, while the amount spent and the new cash balance will show on the display.
How is money entered into the system?
Our only method of payment is via WisePay which you can access through the school website. Log into www.finchleycatholic.org.uk and click on Wise Pay at the bottom of the page or in the menu. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any assistance with accessing the system.
There are no onsite facilities to top up canteen accounts.
How does my child check their canteen balance at school?
There are three scanning points onsite. Firstly, your child places their finger on the finger recognition reader mounted on the machine which will then display their name and current cash balance held within the system. Then press the red button to clear the reader. Parents can also check their child’s balance by logging onto Wise Pay and clicking on “My Wise account” and scrolling down to see the transactions.
If you pay for a set number of school meals, can it be spent in one day?
No, a default daily spend limit of £6.00 is applied to all accounts, no food costing above that limit can be bought. This limit can only be changed by emailing email@example.com.
What if your child does not hold a sufficient cash balance one day to pay for a school lunch?
No pupil is refused a school lunch if they do not have enough funds on their canteen account. If a parent genuinely forgets to pay in advance, the school will allow your child to go overdrawn for one day, however this must be agreed in advance with the Finance Office. This debt must be repaid immediately using Wise Pay together with enough funds to cover future meals otherwise the School will be unable to continue providing food.
Free School Meals
If parents believe that their child may qualify for entitlement to Free School Meals then please contact Mrs Duffy in the school office, for further information. The allowance for Free School Meal is a statutory entitlement and should be claimed if your child qualifies. In order to qualify, you will be required to complete an application form and provide any evidence which may be requested. Free school meal entitlement will only apply from the date the evidence has been received and the application has been approved. It cannot be backdated. The school will support parents with the application.
What if your child is entitled to a ‘free school meal’?
The system works exactly the same way for all pupils whether they pay or have a free school meal. The amount allocated for the free school meal will be entered into the system by the software daily but will only be accessible at lunch break.
The system will then allow the required cash amount for your child to be credited to their current cash balance on a daily basis. However, any under spend or missed lunch will be identified by the system and will not be added to the next day’s balance. This applies only to pupils entitled to free meals.
You can also add extra cash to a pupil’s balance using Wisepay, to enable a greater daily spend on their school lunch than allocated by their free meal allowance. The free school meal allowance can only be spent on a school lunch, extra cash added into the system may also be used for break time snacks.
Please note: your child will not be able to see the lunch allowance when they check their balance on the school scanners, however their allowance will show up on the till, when they go to pay for their lunch.
What is meant by ‘dietary control’?
Should your child have a specific food allergy, or be a diagnosed diabetic, this medical information can be coded into the system, alerting staff at the point of sale.
Will pupils have problems in using this system?
Some pupils 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. Extra assistance will be available to your child for the remainder of this term.
Will we be able to have any information on how the system is being used?
By logging onto Wise Pay you will be able to see the following:
- Your child’s up to date balance
- All your child’s transactions, up to the last 25 transactions.
- The Canteen Price list
- The Canteen Menu
- Wisepay updates their information once a day.
Each individual’s finger prints are unique. The biometric cashless system will store only a section of the print as a unique number and not as an image. Each student will have a unique number stored on a central server. This is done by scanning the finger with a non-invasive electronic scanner, which passes light over the finger. The same scanner will be installed in the scanner machines where students check their canteen balance and at the tills where they get their food. A print will be stored numerically; the system does not store the image. The stored co-ordinates are only of use in matching part of the individuals print and cannot be used for the purpose of reconstructing a print. The numeric references are held on a secure server. Access to this database is given only by the school and then only to those who are required to administer the system.
Certain data will be held on the system to enable accurate operation. This will include your child’s name, class, photo, account balance and meal entitlement. This data will be handled under the guidelines of the data protection act and only used by parties directly involved with the implementation of the system. If you have any concerns please contact our Finance Department via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see below some useful documents with information on the canteen, including menus.