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School Meals

School Meals

The Academy operates a cafeteria style canteen system which provides a wide choice of foods.

Students may purchase food at breaks and lunchtime to eat in the designated areas and can pay using the Cashless Catering system (see ParentPay section below for further details).

Some students may wish to bring a packed lunch and supervised areas are provided. We ask that students put all rubbish in the bins provided or take litter home.

Breakfast Club:

Many of our students have to leave their homes early in the morning and this can mean that they don’t have time to eat breakfast. By offering this service we can ensure all students have the opportunity to have hot food, giving them a better start to the day. Breakfast is available from 8.00am.


Neale-Wade Academy operates a Cashless Catering system for the purchase of food within Academy facilities. At the heart of the Cashless Catering system there is a computer controlled by IMPACT Software. This allows the system to recognise each individual student, hold individual account balances and recognise what money has been spent on what food, on any specific date and time of day.

Biometric Recognition:

The system that the Academy operates uses biometric, fingertip recognition software to identify the individual users of the system. We scan two fingers of each user to get an image of the fingertip. These images are then used by the system to create a mathematical algorithm, a series of numbers, which can be used to uniquely identify that user. The system uses an image of the fingertip to create the algorithm and then discards the image; only the numbers remain and these cannot be reinterpreted back into a fingerprint image. The data is held on the system until the student leaves school. (The Academy decided to use a biometric system because fingertips cannot be lost or left at home and they have no cost to the Academy). The partial scanning of fingertips is purely voluntary and those not wishing to sign up will still be able to purchase food using a card. We make a charge to users who have lost a card.

Free School Meals:

An advantage of Cashless Catering is that the system works exactly the same for all students whether they pay or have a free school meal. All students have their own account to use in exactly the same way. Those students entitled to free school meals will have the amount allocated for the free school meal entered in to the system by the software daily. This allocation will only be available at lunchtime.  A student receiving free school meals can also add funds on to his or her balance in the system by using any available method. This allows for a greater daily spend on the school dinner than allocated by their free meal allowance as well as putting money into the system that can be used for break time snacks.

Paying Money In:

There are two ways in which money can be credited to a student’s cashless catering account:

  1. Over the Internet via ParentPay.  This is the best way to credit money to a student’s account as it ensures that money intended to be spent on school dinners is actually spent in the canteen.
  2. Using PayPoint.  If you would like to use this method you need to contact the Finance Office so that you can be issued with a PayPoint card.
Checking an Account Balance:

Students are able to check the balance of their account whenever they buy an item from the canteen. Parents who use ParentPay will be able to check the balance of their child’s account and see what food they have purchased through the ParentPay website.  We set a limit on the amount of money that students can spend in any one day to ensure that they cannot waste money that has been given to them to buy school dinners for a period of time. We have set the daily spend limit to £4.00. This will cover food bought before school, at break and at lunchtime.  Parents who would like a higher or lower limit set can request this by sending a note to the Finance Office at school.

Should you have any concerns regarding school meals or the payment systems, please do not hestiate to contact us