Please email or telephone 01452 509216


Cashless catering - frequently asked questions

What is the daily limit?

The system is set up with a default limit of a total spend of £5 per day.

How do I change the limit?

Just contact the finance office, either by email or phone 01452 509215 with the limit that you would like to change to.

Can I set different limits for different meal times?

Yes, the system is very flexible.  You can set any limit you wish for each of the four times that the canteen is open – breakfast, morning break, lunch and after school.  You can select any sum from zero to the total of your daily limit for each time individually.  Just contact Finance to arrange this. or 01452 509216.

Why doesn’t the detail of what has been bought show up on the ParentPay system – it just says ‘item’ or ‘unknown’

The ParentPay system links with information from the school cashless system and should show the detail which has been set up.  There maybe one or two special one off items which are not set up and this will display as ‘unknown’ on the ParentPay system.  But this should not happen very often.

One of the benefits of the cashless system is that it shows you details on what your child has bought.  Please use this facility to ensure they are eating a balanced diet and to allow you to have discussion with your child about making the right food and drink choices.

My child is entitled to free school meals.  Can they spend more than the free school meal allowance? How does this work?

The free school meal allowance is set up automatically.  It is currently £2.50 per day; it must be spent on the day and cannot be carried forward.  Free school meals can only be taken at morning break or lunchtime.  If you wish your child to be able to spend more than £2.50, or spend at other times of the day then you will need to add additional money to your child’s account.

There is an error on what my child has spent – how do I get it corrected?

If you notice something incorrect or strange on your ParentPay account which your child knows they have not actually bought then just contact the finance office.  We will investigate and if there is an error we will simply adjust your account and add back the incorrect purchase.

Why don’t the canteen staff let my child have their food – they just take it back and say ’you are over your limit’

The cashless system doesn’t allow the canteen staff to process purchases which take your child over their limit, whether this is the daily limit or the overdraft limit.  So the food item cannot be bought.  It is important that you keep an eye on the balance and ensure that sufficient money is available.  Also your child needs to manage their purchases so that they do not exceed their daily limit; most people get used to the system quite quickly.

My child says that the reader doesn’t read their thumb print very well – what can we do?

The best thing to try first is to get rescanned – this is done in the finance office.  Your child can have any of their fingers scanned, not just their thumbs too, so this may be worth trying.  Also ensuring that their thumb is clean helps a lot.  Finally if none of this works they can have a PIN code instead.

How does my child get a PIN code?

Just come to the Finance office and it can be easily set up.  Your child will then need to remember it, and keep it secure.

How long does it take ParentPay to top up the account after I have added money to the system?

This varies depending on whether the system is in use at the school because the system cannot top up as quickly at busy times.  It can take from around 15 minutes up to 2 hours.  Please try to plan ahead and add money well in advance.

How can my child find out their current balance?

A new ‘Balance Checker’ unit is being installed in the hall where your child will be able to check their balance whenever they wish. 

Can my child top up at school?

Can my child top up at school?

From September 2017 the school will no longer accept cash to top-up your child’s catering account.  It is essential that you prepare for this change by ensuring that your ParentPay Account has sufficient credit each day, or alternatively you can use as PayPoint Card at a local participating retail outlet.  For details of both facilities please email

Who do I contact at school if I have any queries?

Please email or telephone 01452 509216

Where can I find out further information on the ParentPay system?

Lots of information is available on the ParentPay website

I have forgotten my password? Where can I get it from?

Either you can reset it on the site – use the ‘forgotten password’ option or we can reset it from the school; please email or telephone 01452 509216

I haven’t set up for text alert when my child’s balance is low – how do I do this?

This is a facility in the ParentPay system.  You need to register for alerts, choose the level of money which you want to be notified at and also put sufficient funds into the text alert section.  Note – the text alert service needs to have money topped up into it because there is a charge of 6p per text which you will have to pay.

My child brings in a packed lunch; can they purchase just a dessert?

Meals purchased at lunch time consist of a main dish (the main meal as advertised or pasta, sandwich or jacket potato).  A dessert may also be purchased with a main meal.  A main meal can be purchased without a dessert item but a dessert item cannot be purchased separately.  Snack items are available at break times.

For any queries please contact

June 2017