We have implemented a student recognition system using biometrics at St Benedict’s Catholic High School. This allows us to make the best use of efficient systems for, initially, cashless catering. The system improves the services we are able to offer students and staff significantly, with benefits including (for example):
- Improved security for handling cash transactions in the school
- Reduction in administration time and cost in dealing with lost or forgotten cards/passwords/PINs
- Reduction in bullying as there is nothing that can be stolen for use by another student
- Reduction in queuing time
The cashless system will enable parents to access their child’s account on-line; to see, on a daily basis should you wish, exactly what your child has purchased to eat and drink at lunch or break times; to manage how much your child can spend each day and to be sure that your child can not lose their lunch money.
At the moment we are able to offer two methods of crediting student’s accounts:
1. There will be 3 revaluation machines located in school for the convenience of all students. There will be one adjacent to the Admin Centre, one in B/C block foyer, and one in the sixth form area. These units are easy to use and able to accept £20 – £10 – old, non plastic £5 Notes £2 – £1 – 50p – 20p – 10p coins in order for students to credit their accounts either daily, weekly or as often as they wish.
2. In addition, you will be able to use a secure on-line payment service, using either a debit or a credit card.
If your child is entitled to Free School Meals, there will be an automatic daily credit to their account for the Free School Meal allowance. This can only be spent on a daily basis. If your child does not spend the whole allowance on a particular day, the balance (or ‘change’) cannot be carried forward to the following day. If your child has a free school meal and you wish to ‘top-up this allowance, you may do so in either of the 2 ways described above.
Any amount of money can be paid into a student’s account held within the system. Money spent on food and drink purchases will be automatically deducted from the individual accounts. Balances can also be easily checked by students by using the revaluation terminal.
The system will be operated by using Biometric Authentication. From September 2013 all schools were required to obtain consent for the operation of such a system. A copy of a ‘Frequently asked Questions’ document is available on the school website. This technology is already used successfully by thousands of schools and as a leadership team we are convinced that this is the right way forward for our school. We are keen to provide an opportunity for parents and guardians to find out more about the system and to answer any questions. Should you require any further information, please contact me at the school.
We would like to make it clear that St Benedict’s School will comply at all times with Data Protection Act and with the provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (which came into force in September 2013) regarding the use of biometric data. In order for your child to use the biometric system, one parent or guardian will need to consent by signing and returning the appropriate form. We will also offer an opportunity to opt out for those pupils who, upon consideration, would prefer to use alternative forms of identification. Further information about biometrics systems is available by contacting the school.