Entirely cashless schools on the way

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When the Arran schools return following the October break there will be a change to the catering and school payment IT systems.

At present school dining is cashless, and North Ayrshire Council use an e-payment system for paying for all snacks and meals. Parentpay is the current provider, but this will change to iPayimpact from October.

iPayimpact can be used to purchase school meals and snacks but will also be used for trips, events, tickets, and the school shop so that the entire school is cashless.

It  can be accessed through a desktop PC, tablet, or a mobile phone enabling participants to review payments, purchase history and current balance anytime, anywhere.

The council is also introducing a new pre-order system for all school meals and to access this parents will need to sign up for iPayimpact.

The pre-order system allows items to be purchased from the school canteen using a mobile phone or the online portal.

More details on these systems will be issued to parents and carers soon.

As part of the change, the council will  also be introducing a new pupil identification method for catering within its secondary schools – facial recognition. This is a safe, secure, and contactless method of identifying the pupil at the till.

The optional facial recognition system will be used for authenticating all secondary school pupils that require access to school meals and/or snacks, including those eligible for free school meals. Young people can opt out of using facial recognition.

To access meals/snacks (free or paying) or make any purchases from the school e.g., trips, tie etc an iPayimpact account must be registered.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, cabinet member for green new deal and sustainability, said: ‘The pre-order function should make the lunch service quicker and reduce queuing time for pupils. It will also ensure that children get the menu item(s) of their choice.

‘The added benefit of the optional facial recognition element will mean the payment of snacks and meals in school will be more secure and faster.’

Contact the facilities management support team at onlinecashlessqueries@northayrshirecouncil.onmicrosoft.com