Biometrics and Cashless Academy Meal System

Biometrics authentication is the automatic recognition of a living being using suitable body characteristics. By measuring an individual’s physical features in an authentication inquiry and comparing this data with stored biometric reference data, the identity of a specific user is determined. There are many different biometric features that can be used for authentication purposes.   These include fingerprint, signature, Iris, Retina, DNA or any other unique characteristic. Once a characteristic has been chosen the next stage in the biometric process is authentication. A biometric feature is saved onto a database. Once the data has been stored, a new scanning of the biometric feature is taken.  If the comparison is positive, access to the appropriate application is granted.

Why do you need to take my child’s fingerprint?

By taking an Image of your child’s fingerprint we can turn this information into a digital signature.

Can fingerprints be used by any other agency?

No, the software we use turns your child’s fingerprint into a mathematical algorithm; the image of the finger print is then discarded. The information that is stored cannot be used to recreate an image of the child’s fingerprint.

What happens when my child leaves the Academy?

When a student leaves Academy all data can be deleted.

How does it work?

When the child places his/her finger on the scanner, the software matches their fingerprint with the unique digital signature held in the database

Biometrics and Security

Students, parents and staff can rest assured that the fingerprint images cannot be used by any other source for identification purposes. The system uses an image of the fingerprint to create a mathematical algorithm and then discards the fingerprint, only the numbers remain and these cannot be reinterpreted back into a fingerprint image.

How is the fingerprint image used to obtain an Academy meal?

The student puts their finger on the reader. A display will show the server the student’s name, class and current cash balance held within the system. The selected food items will be entered into the system from an itemised keyboard while the amount spent and the new cash balance will show on the display.

How is money entered into the system?

By using the School Gateway.

How will the student be able to check what the current cash balance is held in the system at any one time?

The balance is shown on School Gateway.

If we pay for a set number of school meals, can it be spent in one day?

No, a daily spend limit of £ 6.00 is set for all students so no food above that limit can be purchased. An individual student limit can also be set, to include a school dinner and break time snacks.

What about the student entitled to a ‘free school meal’?

The system works the same for all students whether they pay or have a free school meal. The amount allocated for the free school meal will be entered into the system by the software daily and will only be accessible at breakfast club and at lunch time.

The system will then allow, on a daily basis, the required cash amount for each individual student to be allotted to their current cash balance. However, any under spend or missed dinner will be identified by the system and will not be added to the next day’s balance.

You can also add extra cash on to his or her balance in the system on School Gateway, to enable a greater daily spend on the school dinner than allocated by their free meal allowance. As the free school meal allowance can only be spent on a school dinner, extra cash added into the system can also be used for break time snacks.

Food Allergies

Should the student have a specific food allergy, or be a diagnosed diabetic, this medical information can be flagged up on the system. Please contact Reception.

Will we be able to have any information on how the system is being used?

The School Gateway provides information on all aspects of use for each individual student as well as each day’s service.

Data Handling 

Certain data will be held on the system to enable accurate operation. This will include your child’s name, class, photo, 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. If you have any concerns, please contact the Academy.