Primary School Administration and Cashless Systems
HC3S has a number of solutions for dealing with school meal administration and the handling of other school income from, for example, trips, uniforms, etc.
These solutions have the following benefits:
- Reconciliation at point of service (actual numbers taking meals or participating in trips for example
- More efficient management of income, reducing administrative workload
- Generates receipts, if and when requested
- Identifies what children eat whist having a school meal
- Allows flexibility for ad hoc payments thus removing restrictions on payment for meals, trips etc
- Simplifies banking processes
- Automatically generates letters to chase for monies owed
- Produces management reports, including daily kitchen reports and weekly meal returns
- Replaces the need for pupils to carry cash around each day to pay for their meals and snacks (cashless systems)
- Provides anonymity for pupils entitled to free meals - no more registers identifying children in order to get their lunch (cashless systems)
How does the system work?
Accounts are set up on the school system (catering and other) for each pupil and parents/carers then need to send in cheques (cash is accepted at some schools) and the amounts are credited to the appropriate account.
HC3S runs two slightly different systems for primary schools:
With swipe cards
All pupils are issued with a swipe card and once they have selected the items they wish to purchase and taken them to the till, they will need to hand over their card for payment. The items go through the till and as the card is swiped, the amount due for the purchases is debited from the pupil's account.
If a card is lost, the pupil needs to advise the school office so a replacement can be issued. As the money is held o the computer system and not on the card, no money is lost with a missing card.
Without swipe cards
With this system, pictures of the children are held on the computer and they are identified as they arrive at the till. The computer's touch screen links the photo to the child's account and as a meal is taken, records the purchase.
The majority of our primary schools operate a Traditional Meal option which means that a child will spend the standard meal price each day and will not necessarily need any additional money. If a school offers a morning break, additional funds may be added to the account for the pupil to purchase other items.
Special diet children are also safe to use the system as items can be 'flagged' so if a child with a nut allergy tries to buy something containing nuts, the system would warn the catering staff that the item was not suitable for that child.
Pupils who are entitled to free meals, will be able to purchase a meal in exactly the same way as every other child in their school (regardless of with or without a swipe card). The standard meal cost will be added to a free meal pupil's account each day to ensure they are able to spend that amount at lunch time.
These pupils can also top up the money available on their account by paying in cheques or cash for purchase of items at break times for example, if their parents/carers wish.