PUPILS at an East Staffordshire secondary school will not have to dip into their pockets for food any more – they will just have to use their fingerprint.
Youngsters at Paulet High School, in Violet Way, Stapenhill, scrambled to be the first person to use the newly-installed cashless payment system.
Senior teachers revealed that the system was introduced to speed up dinner queues, reduce the risk of bullying and ensure dinner money was being spent on food at school.
Business manager Tony Bayliss told the Mail: “We think that the system will have benefits for pupils, parents and the school.
“It will avoid the need to operate cash tills and therefore will speed up the dinner queues.
“Students entitled to free school meals will no longer have to feel a stigma when standing at the till as all students will be treated the same.
“Schools have found that bullying can occur as a result of pupils carrying cash into school for lunch and trips.
“Using this system means that there is no need for students to be carrying this money into school.
“It will mean that dinner money doesn’t get lost or forgotten.
“It will also mean that nobody but the pupil can spend their dinner money as it is their thumb that holds the key to the cash.
“For parents, it will help family finances and budget planning.
“It will remove the need to look for change on a daily basis.
“It will also allow them to pay for other things such as school trips, events and equipment.
“Some people do not like the fact that people upload cash online so we have set up a system where people can load up cash at certain nearby shops over the counter.
“For the school, it will mean we are handling a lot less cash.
“The system has many benefits and everyone is looking forward to using it.”
The system has been set up by two firms – Parent Pay and Nationwide Retail Systems – and is now up and running at the school.