The cashless catering facility is provided by Nationwide Retail Systems Ltd, a company which specialises in educational cashless catering. This is the company that manages the biometrics and the payments for meals.
In order to use the cashless catering system, students simply place a fingertip on a scanner to make a payment for their food. The light on the biometric reader is used solely to illuminate the fingertip of the student or staff member and the scanning device then effectively takes a capture.
Most of the data is discarded and only a limited number (approx. 120) of random points on the fingerprint are retained, not the whole fingerprint. These are not stored as images but are converted using a mathematical process to convert the image data to what is essentially a string of random numbers. Please note the system DOES NOT record fingertips / fingerprints and an image of your child’s fingerprint is not stored.
The information collected will be used solely for school purposes and held on the school system only. This technology is very secure and is commonly used within other schools across the UK and locally.
Notification of Intention to Process Student’s Biometric Information
The Academy wishes to use information about your child as part of the automated recognition system provided by Nationwide Retail Systems, for the purposes of implementing the cashless catering system.
The information from your child that we wish to use is referred to as ‘biometric information’ (see next paragraph). Under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (sections 26 to 28), we are required to notify each parent of a child and obtain the written consent of at least one parent before being able to use a child’s biometric information for an automated system.
Please be reassured that the law places specific requirements on schools when using personal information, such as biometric information, about students for the purposes of an automated biometric recognition system.
(a) the Academy cannot use the information for any purpose other than those for which it was originally obtained and made known to parents;
(b) the Academy must ensure that the information is stored securely;
(c) the Academy must tell you what it intends to do with the information;
(d) unless the law allows it, the Academy cannot disclose personal information to another person/body – you should note that the only body that the Academy wishes to share the information with is Nationwide Retail Systems.
Providing your consent/objecting
As stated above, in order to be able to use your child’s biometric information, the written consent of at least one parent is required. However, consent given by one parent will be overridden if the other parent objects in writing to the use of their child’s biometric information. Similarly, if your child objects to the use of their biometric information, then the Academy cannot collect or use his/her biometric information for inclusion on the automated recognition system.
You can also object to the proposed processing of your child’s biometric information at a later stage or withdraw any consent you have previously given. This means that, if you give consent but later change your mind, you can withdraw this consent. Please note that any consent, withdrawal of consent or objection from a parent must be in writing.
We believe that the introduction of both the online payment and cashless catering systems is an important step forward for the Academy. You can top up your child’s account for the purchase of food and drinks from the dining room and a significant advantage is that as there is no cash involved, it cannot be lost or spent on other things.
In addition to catering items, you will be able to pay for school trips and other expenses and you will be able to view your account online, allowing you to keep track of how much has been spent and on what. Lunch time queuing will also be reduced.
The system will automatically credit accounts the appropriate amount for those on free school meals.
All biometric data held by the school will be deleted should your child leave.