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Ulverston Victoria High School

Ulverston Victoria
High School

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Cashless Catering

Ulverston Victoria High School, in common with many other schools nationally and locally, operates a Cashless Catering System. Cashless means students do not pay with cash at the till in the canteen. Instead the value of purchases made is deducted from each student’s lunch account.

Cashless Catering works in conjunction with our on-line platform, ParentPay, which allows parents to make payments to the lunch account as well as payment for trips, study materials, events and other school items.

How it works 

Each student has their own lunch account. Parents can pay money into a student’s lunch account on-line via ParentPay (students can top up their lunch account with cash at any of the three cash machines located in school) and the cost of each canteen purchase will be deducted from the lunch account at the till. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, parents are strongly urged to make use of the on-line payment system, ParentPay.

The system incorporates the latest biometric technology (please see Biometric Information) which means that the system will recognise your child’s unique thumb or finger at the tills in the canteen and at the cash top up machines. All students will be shown how to use the system.

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

As per current legislation, we will be applying an ‘Opt In’ policy for biometric data and therefore request that you to complete the Biometric Consent Form. If you choose not to have your child registered on the Biometric System, a four digit PIN code will be allocated. Please note that PIN codes do not have the same level of security and it will be your child’s responsibility to remember the code and keep it secure at all times.

Parents are requested to 

  • Set up your ParentPay account for on-line payments. All parents will be issued with a ParentPay activation letter. Please contact school if you have difficulty setting up your account or if you have not received an activation letter.
  • Complete and return the Biometric Consent Form as soon as possible


Q: What is a cashless system?

A: Cashless means that students no longer pay with cash at the till. At the till, each student will access their lunch account biometrically and the value of purchases made will be deducted.

Parents can top up and monitor the lunch account on-line via ParentPay (or students can top up their lunch account with cash at any of the three cash machines located in school).

Q: What is ‘biometric?’

A: Biometric is simply a method of identifying an individual person. The Trust-e Cashless System uses and algorithm based scan, which reads between 50 and 130 points on the finger/thumb. It is not a fingerprint in any way, shape or form and is of use only in the Cashless System.

Q: How does a biometric system work?

A: The information of a student, who has been biometrically registered, is stored on a secure biometric controller within the school, which only your provider, Civica, can access with permission from the school. Once an account is credited, the student places their finger/thumb on the EPOS Terminal Biometric Reader, which looks up their account and allows them to purchase items using only this method of identification.

Q: How does my child register on the biometric system?

A: Parents need to complete a Biometric Consent Form.

Year 6 into 7 students will be registered where possible at their induction interview.

Other students can be registered at any time by arrangement. Periodically the school will arrange registration sessions.

Your child will be required to place their finger/thumb on the Biometric Reader twice to obtain a matching template, which only takes a few seconds.

If you have not opted for biometric registration, your child will be presented with a unique four digit PIN code.

Q: What methods of payment can be used to credit an account?

A: Any amount can be credited to an account by way of any of the following methods. Once an account has been credited, the monies cannot be withdrawn and must be spent on the school meal/break services.

Online Payments

We have introduced on-line payments in partnership with ParentPay. To make a payment on-line please go to your ParentPay account. Please contact the school if you have not received your ParentPay activation letter See also our ParentPay webpage.

Cash at the Top Up Machines

Three cash top up machines are sited at different locations within the school. These can be used to top up accounts by the student placing their registered finger or thumb on the Biometric Reader or by entering their unique four digit PIN Code followed by inserting the accepted tender: £20, £10, £5 notes or £2, £1, 50p, 20p, 10p or 5p coins. Please note that copper coins are not accepted. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, parents are strongly urged to make use of the on-line payment system, ParentPay.


Cheque payments for school meals can be accepted and credited to student accounts. Cheques should be made out to “UVHS”, marked as payment for school meals and have the student name and form written on the back. All cheques must be handed to the Finance Office and must be received by 9am prior to that day’s commencement of service. Cheques received after this time will not be credited to the account until the following day.

Q: How can I check the credit on an account?

A: This can be done by the account holder either placing their finger/thumb on the cash top up machine scanner or entering a 4 digit PIN code. The current balance will then be displayed. This can also be accessed via ParentPay where parents can also set a low balance alert.

Q: Can I change my child’s daily spend limit?

A: Yes – The school operates a default daily spending limit of £5 but the amount your child can spend throughout one day can be changed by written request to The Business Manager, Ulverston Victoria High School, Springfield Road, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 0EB.

Q: What happens if my child’s account is not in credit?

A: Ulverston Victoria High School’s policy is to offer soup and a roll for free or a choice of sandwich which will be charged to the lunch account. The Cashless Catering System has a debt tracking facility and the ability to send debt letters to overdue account holders. Parents may set low balance alerts through their ParentPay account to avoid this situation.

Q: What about Free School Meals?

A: All students entitled to a free school meal will receive their daily allowance automatically. This process is anonymous as free school meal students access their accounts and pay for meals in exactly same manner as non free school meal students.

Please note that any monies not spent from the daily free meal allocation will not be carried over to the next day.

Parent/students may wish to top up their free school meal allowance on-line via ParentPay or with cash as daily spend may exceed the free school meal allowance.

Q: Can anyone else use my child’s account?

A: No – due to the extensive security on biometric templates, no-one will be able to access your child’s account. As a secondary precaution, a photo image is allocated to each student. If your child is using a unique four digit PIN code, which someone obtains and attempts to use, the photograph shown at the EPOS Terminal will alert the operator of a fraudulent sale.​​​​​​​

Q: My child has an allergy. Will this be monitored through the Cashless System?

A: Yes – all allergy records registered with the school will be entered onto the Cashless System. When students attempt to purchase an item, which contains ingredients that they are allergic to, the system will alert the operator and prevent them from selling the chosen item.​​​​​​​

Q: Can I determine my child’s dietary requirements?

A: The system will allow you to register any items that your child cannot consume due to dietary needs or religious reasons. Any such items must be confirmed in writing by the parent/guardian, and addressed to Ulverston Victoria High School, Springfield Road, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 0EB.​​​​​​​

Q: Can I monitor my child’s meal intake?

A: Yes – you will be able to monitor your child’s diet through your ParentPay account.​​​​​​​

Benefits of Cashless Catering 

  • On-line payment facility
  • Greater security through
    • Biometric registration
    • No need to carry cash
  • Low balance alerts can be set up within ParentPay​​​​​​​
  • Free School Meal anonymity
  • Allergy information can be programmed into the system
  • Daily spending limits

We trust that the information here on our website about Cashless Catering should answer any questions you may have but if this is not the case please do not hesitate to contact the School Finance Office.