An insight into cashless catering at BGS

What is a Cashless System? 

At the heart of the cashless system there is a computer controlled by I.M.P.A.C.T. – Software.  This allows the system to recognise each individual student, hold individual cash balances, record cash spent and cash received record where money is spent, on what food, on any specific date and time of day.

How are pupils recognised by the system?

Each pupil has been issued with their own personal card, which when used will enter them into the system program and identify them by a number encoded on a magnetic chip within the card. Students have been using these cards since September for our centralised printing system.

How is this then used to obtain a school meal? 

The student simply scans their card at the point of sale; a display will show the server the student’s name, year group and current cash balance held within the system. The selected food items will be entered into the system from an itemised keyboard while the amount spent and the new cash balance will show on the display.

How is money entered into the system?

  • Parents are encouraged to use our online top-up system, provided by ParentPay. This is the quickest and easiest way to pay. Parents should have received an activation letter from the school, if you have not received this, or require any other assistance using this system, please contact
  • By ‘Cash Coin and Note ’ into an automatic cash revaluation terminal located in the school which is set to accept £20 £10 £5 notes £2 – £1 – 50p – 20p – 10p coins.  (1p – 2p – 5p coins cannot be used) 

How does the revaluation station work?

Firstly the student scans their card on the Revaluation Station to enter the I.M.P.A.C.T system which will display the student’s name and current cash balance held within the system.

The second stage coins and notes are inserted into the slot. Each incremental cash balance will show on the display. Press the blue button to log out. 

How will the student be able to check what the current cash balance is held in the system at any one time? 

  • By using the revaluation station. There is no need to deposit any money, just press the red button to finish.
  • Also a Remote Display at the point of sale will show the new cash balance when the food service is finished.

If we pay for a set number of school meals, can it be spent in one day?

No, a daily spend limit of £5.00 will be set for all students and no food above that limit can be bought. On request, an individual student limit of your choice could also be set, to include a school dinner and break time snacks

What if the student does not hold a sufficient cash balance one day to pay for a school dinner? 

As before, no student is refused a school dinner because they have not brought their dinner money to school with them. The school will allow for the student to loan money for a maximum of two day.  However, just as before, the student would be expected to bring some money with them the next day to repay the loan and re-credit the system by topping up online, or by using the revaluation station.

What about students entitled to a ‘free school meal’?

The system works exactly the same for all students whether they pay or have a free school meal.  All students have their own account to use in exactly the same way.

The amount allocated for the free school meal will be entered into the system by the software daily and will only be accessible at dinner break.

The system will then allow on a daily basis the required cash amount for each individual student to be allotted to their current cash balance. However, any under spend or missed dinner will be identified by the system and will not be added to the next day’s balance. 

The student can also add extra cash on to his or her balance in the system by using the revaluation station, to enable a greater daily spend on the school dinner than allocated by their free meal allowance. As this allowance can only be spent on a school dinner, extra cash added into the system can also be used for break time snacks.

There will be no more queuing to be issued a  ‘free meal’ tokens or having the students name entered into the ‘free meal’ register at the till point. 

What is meant by ‘dietary control’?

Should the student have a specific food allergy, or be a diagnosed diabetic, this medical information can be coded into the system, preventing foods with allergy ingredients from being served to a particular student, by automatically locking out relevant buttons on the keyboard.

Will students have problems in using this system?

Some students 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. 

Will we be able to have any information on how the system is being used?

Reports can be obtained from the system giving comprehensive information on all aspects of use for each individual student as well as each day’s service. Please contact the school directly if you require any information of this type.

Data Handling

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 the school directly.