Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams was in Newtown yesterday to launch Newtown High School’s new cashless system.
Cashless systems are gaining popularity in schools across Wales and allow parents to pay for their children’s meals and other services provided by schools, like school trips or borrowing library books, via an online account.
Using an online portal, parents and students are able to add credit to their account, top them up when necessary and then use a biometric system to pay for school meals. The online element also allows parents to monitor their children’s food choices.
Other benefits include children and young people not having to carry cash around, which might get lost or spent on less healthy food outside the school.
Kirsty Williams said,
“Schools all over Wales are introducing cashless systems as a way of ending the stigma some children face at meal times but they also have benefits in terms of speeding up the lunchtime service, helping to reduce instances of theft and bullying and supporting cost-saving initiatives and improved efficiencies.
“These systems can also be a great convenience for parents who won’t have to scramble around for cash every day and is another way we are supporting innovation in schools to improve the quality of life for students and staff.”
First to use the system in Powys was Crickhowell High and it is hoped similar systems will be rolled out to all schools in the county over the next two years.
The system will also inform catering staff of specific dietary requirements in relation to allergies.
Those without internet access will be able to use local Pay-Point outlets such as newsagents, garages convenience stores and other local retail outlets.