Gillotts goes cashless
Why are the school doing this?
From January, it will no longer be possible to use cash to pay for school trips or to pay for items in the canteen. It costs the school a lot of time and money to handle cash and cheques, and unfortunately there are sometimes incidents of money being lost or stolen. By switching from cash to online payments, we can streamline a number of administrative processes and speed up transactions in the canteen. An electronic system, Scopay, is being introduced which will allow parents to go online and add money to their child’s catering account and to pay for school trips. This system also allows parents to see details of what their child has bought in the canteen.
What is happening?
School trips – parents will receive an email informing you when there is a school trip available for your child. Where previously parents have completed reply slips giving permission and returned cash or cheques, parents will now be directed to the Scopay website where they can log in, give permission and make a payment via debit or credit card. We intend to extend this to include the “school shop” in Student Services and the uniform supplier later in the year.
Canteen – rather than bringing in cash each day, students will be able to use money from a pre-paid balance, topped up via Scopay. Students who are eligible for Free School Meals will have their daily allowance automatically added to their account, so will “pay” in the same way.
What do parents need to do?
There are two separate aspects to this, the Scopay payment website and the tills in the canteen.
The more important of the two is the Scopay website, as this is the only way to pay for trips and to top up the pre-paid balance for the canteen. Emails have been sent out with instructions on how to register, including a unique code needed to associate the parents’ accounts with the relevant children. Whether children use the canteen or not, it is important all parents create accounts with Scopay, as this will be the only way of paying for school trips. Alternative provision is available for parents who are unable to use this system, but only through prior arrangement with the school.
More than one child can be linked to the same account, including children in other schools which also use Scopay, so parents can pay for several trips or top up several balances at once. If more than one Scopay account is required for a child, for example if they do not live with both parents, the school can generate additional access codes for the second parent to use when registering an account.
The other aspect is the tills in the canteen. The quickest way for students to identify themselves at the tills and access their balance is via a biometric reader which uses a scan of part of their finger to identify them. The law requires schools to have parental consent for students to use the biometric ID system. This permission can be given via the Google Form or reply slip we sent out earlier in the term, or simply via email. This permission will also be included in the annual data collection and checking process. Consent can be granted or withdrawn at any time.
Students who don’t want to use this or have problems using it can give their name to the staff member on the till, who will look them up. As long as there is sufficient money in the pre-paid balance, students will not go without food.
What do parents need to do over the Christmas break?
Any parent who has not yet signed up with Scopay should do so very soon, and before the start of term in January if their child uses the canteen.
Any parent who is happy for their child to use the biometric ID system but has not yet responded to the school should email firstname.lastname@example.org, including their child’s name and form group. Students who have not been registered on the biometric ID system, either because they do not have permission or they were absent on the registration day, will still be able to access their pre-paid balance, it will just be slower for them at the till.
How do parents use the Scopay website?
Where can parents get more information?
Parents wishing to discuss any aspect of these changes, either about the move to online payments or the changes in the canteen, should contact the Business Manager, Mrs Glynis Smith via email to email@example.com