Cashless Catering & Biometric

Cashless Catering & Biometric Registration


We operate a cashless catering system in school so that money does not exchange hands and purchases of school dinners, snacks and beverages is electronic using biometric registration and recognition system. 

The system provides us with a more efficient, faster and ultimately better quality of service. It incorporates the latest biometric technology and eliminates the need for pupils to carry cash throughout the day, reducing the risk of bullying.

Please be assured that a fingerprint is not stored, a reference of a small number of points on the finger is scanned, converted into a code and the next time the childs finger is scanned it simply checks that the same points are in the same places, the details cannot be extracted or used for any other purpose.

There are obvious safeguarding benefits and efficiency at the food serving points as no money changes hands, students do not have to carry cash around school, parents do not need to give children cash to take to school for lunches (and school trips) and are instead encouraged to keep their child’s cashless catering account topped up automatically using the Parent Pay system by debit card or credit card online.  This gives you peace of mind that dinner money is safe and being used for that purpose, school trip money is safe and used only for the payment of school trips (when indicated).

A daily ‘spend limit’ of £5 will be programmed into the system for all students. This can be increased or decreased for an individual student by making a written request to the kitchen manager.




For Cashless Catering purposes students are registered with a biometric finger scan used to identify their account at the till.  Biometric registration does not store fingerprints but translates it into a set of encrypted code, a unique digitally encrypted biometric code, to identify each students' cashless catering account at our catering tills.

Each student has their own cashless catering account registered to them, operated using their finger or thumb at the catering tills (biometric recognition).
Biometric Consent is sought from parents in the Data Collection Sheet during the enrollment process. Please complete the Data Collection Sheet in your welcome pack in full on both sides and return it to school.

All Biometric data is stored securely in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and is not transferred, shared, accessed, used or stored for any other purpose than cashless catering (school dinners). 

If parents choose not to consent to biometric registration for their child, a lunch card can be issued alternatively at a cost of £5 each but please note they do not have the same level of security as the Biometric System.  It will be your child's responsibility to keep their lunch card safe and if lost a replacement card will cost £5 in every instance.

Student biometric data is deleted when a student leaves Gateacre School.


Parent Pay


We use Parent Pay, a secure online payment portal to enable parents to credit money to their child's cashless catering account for school dinners, snacks or to pay for trips.


Parent Pay enables parents to credit money to their child’s cashless catering account or top it up at any time,  24/7 online by credit or debit card.  

When a student enrolls at Gateacre, parents automatically receive a letter confirming their unique activation code and ID for their Parent Pay account. Please keep this safe.

Students can still top up their account in school at any of the 3 revaluation pay-point machines around school to pay cash into their cashless catering account. 

To make payments online, parents/carers need to use their activation code once received and set up their own personal account. Please click the links below to access download a guide to our online payment system and to access ParentPay and activate your account or login.

Parent Pay Guide

Having problems topping up online?

If you are having problems with your ParentPay account, please contact our Finance Department on 0151 363 1111.


Making payments for school using PayPoint stores

You can make payments for school in cash by visiting any store displaying the yellow and purple PayPoint sign. 

To find out where you can pay please click the link below and enter your full post code to receive a list of your nearest stores.

Free Bus Pass


If you are eligible for Free School Meals you may also be entitled to a Free Bus Pass check the link at the bottom of page to complete the appropriate form.


16-19 Bursary Fund


Get help to pay for essential education-related costs if you’re 16 to 19 and in further education or training.

The Bursary Fund can help pay for costs like, equipment you might need for your course, lunch and transport to and from your school or college.

You could get a bursary of £1,200 a year if you’re:

  • In care or a care leaver.
  • Claiming Income Support.
  • Disabled and getting Employment and Support Allowance, and Disability Living Allowance.

If you aren’t in one of these groups, you could still get a bursary depending on your personal circumstances. Click link below for further information.