Cashless Catering

At the heart of the cashless system there is a computer controlled by I.M.P.A.C.T. – Software. This allows the system to recognise each individual student, hold individual cash balances, record cash spent and payments received, and record what food is purchased, on any specific date and time.


  • Convenience - no more looking for change every morning
  • Alleviates many of the associated problems with the use of cash in schools, i.e. loss, theft and bullying
  • Queuing times reduced through speed of service
  • Anonymity for free school meal students
  • Students acquire life skills by being responsible for their own account

Data Handling

Certain data will be held on the system to enable accurate operation. This will include your child’s name, registration group, photograph, account balance and meal entitlement. This data will be handled under the guidelines of the Data Protection Act and only used by parties directly involved with the implementation of the system.

How do I pay for school dinners?

  1. ParentMail – see separate information sheet – the preferred method
  2. PayPoint – at a local store, using the barcode supplied by ParentMail
  3. By cheque made payable to ‘The Appleton School’, in multiples of £5. To enable the correct identification of the student account, please write on the back of the cheque the student’s name and registration group. If the amount is to be shared between two students, identify both with name and registration group and the amount for each student. The cheque should be put in an envelope with CATERING written on the front and placed in the Finance Post Box located near the South Block.
  4. By cash into one of the two automatic cash Revaluation Units located in the school which are set to accept £20, £10, £5 notes and £2, £1, 50p, 20p, and 10p coins. Change is not available in school, therefore, please ensure your child has the correct amount.

How does the revaluation station work?

The student can open their account within the I.M.P.A.C.T. system from the revaluation station. The students name and current cash balance will be displayed. The student can insert coins and/or notes into the machine. Each incremental cash balance will show on the display. When the transaction is complete, pressing the blue lit button will clear their details from the screen.

Student Daily Spending Limit

A daily global spend limit of £5 per day is automatically set by the system. This is the maximum a student can spend on their catering account in one day.

Dietary Requirements

The system can prevent your child from purchasing certain foods. Any requests can be made using the enclosed orange form and returned to the school.

What if a student does not hold a sufficient cash balance one day to pay for a school dinner?

No student is refused a school dinner because they have insufficient funds on their account. The school will allow the student to loan money for ONE day. Students should report to the Finance Office at break time or lunchtime to make arrangements for this. A text message will then be sent home asking for arrangements to be made to repay the loan by the following day.