The future is cashless for school meals

Castlebay Community School, Barra.
Castlebay Community School, Barra.

Castlebay Community School will be one of the first in the islands to try a new version of the online cashless payment system for its canteen.

There are already six schools operating a cashless payment system, which were introduced ahead of a national contract that stipulated a move towards a cashless system.

The Comhairle are piloting an updated online payments system at Castlebay Community School in October, with services specified in the new national contract.

A spokesman for the council said the cashless initiative is in line with local government policy, which says: “Every parent or guardian – irrespective of where they live in Scotland – can go online and pay for their child’s school meal, school trip and other non-meal purchases.”

The initiative also helps to fulfil the new legal duty which came into force in January to extend the duty on education authorities to take reasonable steps to ensure those entitled to free school lunches, take those lunches.

The scheme also helps deliver on the duty to protect the identity of pupils entitled to a free school lunch.

The Comhairle says it welcomes feedback on the cashless payment systems. Consultation will take place with parents of Castlebay pupils once the pilot system has been in place for six months.

It will seek to determine the success of the new system and to ascertain if it performs better than the online payments system currently used in the other six schools.