Free School Meals, ParentPay and Cashless Catering.
Free School Meals
Students in receipt of free school meals have an allocation of £2.20 per day, which cannot be carried over, i.e. if it is not spent on a particular day, it effectively ‘disappears’. £2.20 is the price of a Meal Deal which incorporates a selected hot main course and a dessert. Some students have a tendency to spend a large part of their daily allocation at break time, which leaves them little money for lunch. A daily limit can be set up, on individual accounts, to prevent overspending. Please contact School if this is something you would like to consider. Alternatively, parents can top up their child’s account to ensure there is a buffer in the event that he/she wants to spend more than £2.20 each day or, of course, a snack could be sent in from home for break-time.
Free school meals are available to children whose parents receive certain benefits. These include one or more of the following:
- Income support;
- Income-based jobseekers' allowance;
- Income-related employment and support allowance;
- Child tax credit with an income of less than £16,190 and not in receipt of working tax credit;
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
- Guarantee element of state pension credit.
Where parents are entitled to working tax credit during a four-week ‘run-on’ period immediately after their employment has ceased, or after they have started to work fewer than 16 hours a week, their children are entitled to ‘free’ school meals.
Children who receive income support or income-based jobseekers' allowance in their own right are also entitled to free school meals.
If you feel your child(ren) may be entitled to free school meals please go to the Local Authority Website where there is an on-line application. Alternatively, telephone 01609 533679.
Please note that the cashless catering system (see details below) adds free school meal entitlement at the end of each day. I.e. if a student spends £1.80, it will be topped up by that much at the end of the day. However if a child goes over the £2.20 allowance, it will be leave the account in deficit by the overspend amount.
Cashless Catering Service
Richmond School operates a Cashless Catering system which means that it is not possible for students to pay for their break-time snacks or lunches at the tills using cash. Students are able to top up their school meal account in a number of ways:
- Students can dispense cash into the revaluation machines located within School;
- Cheques should be made payable to North Yorkshire County Caterers. Payments should be handed in at the James Tate Reception in a sealed envelope for the attention of North Yorkshire County Caterers, with the student’s name and tutor group clearly shown;
- On-line via ParentPay;
- PayPoint card.
In a continued effort to remove cash and cheques from Richmond School all parents/carers are now asked to use our e-payment system, ParentPay. This offers you the freedom to make payments whenever and wherever you like, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, safe in the knowledge that the technology used is of the highest internet security available.
Each student is provided with a secure on-line account, activated using a unique set of codes provided by the school. Upon initial log-in you will be prompted to change these, and to keep them safe and secure as your Username and Password for future logins. ParentPay now require a verified email address as a username; if you have two or more children at the School, you can merge their accounts via the instructions below.
Making a payment is straightforward and although ParentPay holds an electronic record of your payments to view at a later date; no card details will be stored in any part of the system unless you choose to do so. Once you have activated your account you can make on-line payments straight away.
All Richmond School resources can now be purchased through our ParentPay Shop facility. The link to which is https://www.parentpay.com/ParentPayShop/Uniform/Default.aspx?shopid=315
Please note that a username and password is not required to purchase items from this facility, and so can be used by the wider school community. Please select the items you wish to purchase and when complete, click on the basket icon to check-out. In the payment screen it is essential that we are able to identify your child and his/her class.
Once we have received payment notification, we will process your order and your son/daughter can collect his/her items from the relevant teacher in the next lesson. Please allow 1 working day for the orders to be processed.
If you require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the School.
If you would prefer to continue to pay for school meals by cash, you can request a PayPoint card from School and make payments via any PayPoint retailer, nationwide. The PayPoint cards are unique to each student, so will automatically go onto their dinner accounts. PayPoint payments* are recorded alongside on-line payments in ParentPay and account balances can be checked online in exactly the same way. (*Please allow up to 36 hours for your payment to be credited via the PayPoint network).
We now request that all payments for trips and services are paid for via ParentPay or PayPoint. If you require to pay for a service other than school meals, please get in touch with the school on the details below, or indicate on the reply slip, to request a PayPoint barcode letter. You can then take this to your nearest PayPoint centre and pay as normal.
Managing your Cashless Catering Account
Parents/carers are asked to ensure that lunch accounts are topped up at all times by regularly monitoring balances to ensure that meals are paid for in advance. Low balance reminders are also provided to students by restaurant staff at the tills. Clearly, students need to be made aware that they have a certain amount of money each day and they should bear this in mind when selecting food. Water is available for all, and students are advised not to select the juices and other drinks if they have a tendency to overspend. Students are made aware of their responsibility to manage their lunch accounts, and we will contact home in the event of any ongoing issues.
ParentPay recommends that lunch accounts are topped up the night before to ensure sufficient funds are in place for the following day. Depending on how busy the system is, it can take a few hours from when the payment is made to actually show up in the student’s account, and it cannot be guaranteed that payments made in the morning will be in place in time for lunch on the same day.
To help you monitor account balances it is possible to set up an email alert (which is free of charge) to notify you when the account reaches a certain threshold. For lunch accounts it is advised that a threshold of £5.00 is set, which should give you sufficient time to be able to top-up your account before funds run out, and your son/daughter might be refused service in the Restaurant. In order to set this up please follow the steps outlined below:
- Go to the ‘Alert Settings’ area of ParentPay, accessed via the 'Profile' tab along the top
- Select the type of alert you wish to receive – Email alert (free of charge) or Text alert (cost 0.06p per message).
- Remember to save your settings at the bottom of the page before logging out of your account.
School Trips and Activities
ParentPay has the added benefit of allowing parents/carers to pay securely for any trips or activities organised by the School. This system ensures that students do not need to carry money with them, parents/carers have an accurate record of any monies paid, and the School does not need to collect or hold large sums of cash.
The School aims to communicate with parents/carers effectively and whenever possible electronically. It has been recognised that a paper-based method is less efficient, both in terms of cost and a reliance on students to take information home. Therefore ParentPay, as well as the School Portal, is now being used to enable the School to email letters directly to parents/carers. If your email address changes, please notify us straight away by emailing Admin@richmondschool.net
A downloadable guide for parents/carers is available via the link below, but should you have any further queries regarding ParentPay, please do not hesitate to get in touch on 01748 828133 or via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.