There have been significant improvements in the quality of school food in recent years with the introduction of statutory nutritional standard for school food and the setting up of the School Food Trust.
Whilst this standard currently only applies to maintained schools we feel it is best practice for all schools to ensure that children receive nutritious high quality food in school.
Our Biometric Cashless System offers schools and other organisations a high tech solution to the problems faced in delivering a safe, secure and efficient cashless catering service.
Advantages of Cashless Catering
- Improves operational efficiency at meal times
- Reduced administration
- Higher take up of school meals
- Encourages increased take up of free school meals (FSM)
- Peace of mind for parents
- Encourages healthier diet
- Influences educational attainment
Improved Efficiency at meal times
Our cashless system is easy to use and can deal with large volumes of customers within the fixed time restraints of the school day. It also provides greater accounting accuracy and the elimination of ringing-in errors. No time is spent cashing up and the removal of cash handling removes any potential security risk.
Improved statistical information allows catering departments to more accurately forecast ordering requirements and this provides significant cost savings as a result of the reduction in waste.
Streamlines cash handling procedures through automated cash transfer thus reducing the need for cash collection services.
Free meal list entitlement records can be updated quickly on receipt of entitlement notifications from the LEA removing the need for manual input.
Accurate reports can be generated to provide up-to-date information throughout the year giving indication as to the financial health of the catering department.
The solution can collect and store sales data which is a basis for the production or reports detailing the nutritional value of the meals being served.
Higher Take up of school meals
Cashless Catering provides schools with better statistical information allow them to work with suppliers to develop menus that provide food that the children actually enjoy. The increased meal uptake raises additional income that could fund the cashless system.
Encourages increased take up of Free School Meals (FSM)
In England it is estimated that there are 500,000 entitled children who do not take up their meals.
A primary reason is due to social stigmatisation often experienced by children receiving FSM and bullying that can result. Our solution provides complete anonymity for pupils receiving FSM.
Where schools have visibility of entitlement to FSM they can also help children access other benefits such as clothing allowances, support with school trips and access to leisure facilities.
Peace of Mind for Parents
Parents have the peace of mind that their child has had a decent meal at school. This is particular importance for children who receive FSM as research indicates that their school meal is often their main meal of the day. Nutritious school meals for disadvantaged children can also help children to develop healthy eating habits and has the potential to decrease health inequalities.
Parent Portal provides information on the status of a child’s account allowing top-up online. Parents can set a daily spend allowance, view the nutritional information of the meals purchased and input any dietary allergies. The portal can be linked to other school services such as library and general information.
The removal of the need for children to carry cash can also eliminate a cause of bullying within the school. It also ensures that money is actually spent on meals.
We also provide numerous account top up methods using Revaluation Units, Online Internet Payments and PayPoint outlets
Encourages a Healthier Diet
Providing children with a nutritious meal at school can also influence food choices in the home as children learn about healthy food options. Research has indicated that the food eaten at school has a central role in shaping children’s diets.
Our solution incorporates an allergy warning system that automatically notifies staff if a child is about to purchase an item that contains ingredients that they have an allergy to.
Influences Educational Attainment
Evidence shows that eating a healthy school meal improves children’s concentration during afternoon lessons and can have a positive impact on classroom behaviour
An evaluation of Jamie Oliver’s ‘Feed Me Better’ campaign in 2004/05 which focused on improving the quality of school meals found that the campaign had a positive effect on educational attainment.
You can trust USS
Our experienced consultants can work with a stakeholder group with representatives including head teachers, administrators, parents, ICT, and audit. We tailor the solution to your specific requirements and ensure the system benefits all the stakeholders. This detailed approach allows us to ensure high quality service delivery.
The USS Cashless Catering solution can be deployed on a wide range of hardware devices including mobile devices useful for ad-hoc deployments such as school sports days.
Training and Support
We provide extensive training for staff prior to installation and provide go live support as part of a program of on-site support to ensure smooth transition from legacy systems.
The solution is provided with a full service and support package to ensure that your system is dependable. Our fully trained in house technical team provides on-site and telephone support tailored to meet your individual requirements.
We recognise that tight budgetary constraints can often prevent schools adopting new technology that even where solutions can clearly improve efficiency and reduce costs. Our Cashless Catering solution can be provided on a lease basis to eliminate up front capital expenditure. Speak with your USS Account Manager for more information on how straightforward we can make the deployment of our Cashless Catering System in your school.
For a demonstration or consultation, please contact us here.