17 January 2019

By Jason SOUTHERN – Channel Manager, AURES UK

As anyone who has ever worked in education knows, school administration is a challenging business. The goal of providing a calm, supportive and structured environment in which learning can flourish requires considerable and constant planning and coordination.

While students might come to expect everything to run like clockwork, staff certainly know all about the effort required.

Not surprisingly, therefore, any assistance technology can provide is always welcome and even modern EPOS systems can do their bit. One of our channel partners, BioStore, specialises in identity managementaccess control security systems, and attendance & registration software for schools and colleges. In addition the company also supplies bespoke cashless catering solutions to manage the provision of school meals.

BioStore recently produced a white paper titled, ‘Cashless Catering: Why We All Need a Break’which outlines the benefits of ID-based prepayment systems for school dinner administration. Here, we pull out four ways an EPOS-based cashless catering solution adds to overall well-being and the efficient running of the school day.

Faster service, less queues

The most obvious benefit of a cashless catering system is that it speeds everything up in the dinner hall. By loading student prepayment accounts ahead of time and completing transactions with the swipe of a card or the touch of a button, there is no need for pupils to count out money and wait for change. By adopting a new cashless system, it significantly reduces the time students spend queuing – freeing up time to do more important things like going outside to play.

Increased security

There have always been concerns around the security of sending children to school with money to buy school lunches. The younger they are especially, children are prone to losing things, and if their money is misplaced it could lead to them missing out on lunch. Not only does cashless catering give parents more peace of mind that their child is getting a meal at school, it also increases security for education establishments themselves, as it means there is no need for cash to be left on the premises.

Better access to healthy school meals

With a more efficient system that parents trust, cashless catering systems can help increase the uptake of pupils having school meals. Despite an outdated reputation for low quality, school food has to meet certain nutritional standards. There is no such regulation of packed lunches, so you never can be quite sure about the quality of the meal a child with a packed lunch gets. Having a solid, nutritionally balanced meal in the middle of the day has been shown to boost concentration by up to 20%, so increasing the number of children having school meals assists with educational outcomes.

Reaching out to those most in need

Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are entitled to free school meals, but take up of this benefit is far from universal. Nearly half of school leaders say that getting parents to apply for free school meals for their children is a key barrier, and a lot of that is to do with the stigma associated with this. Cashless catering can help with this by increasing privacy – there is no difference between the children who hand over money at lunchtime and those who do not, it is all managed through the same ID system, so no one need ever know the difference.

To download the full White Paper, click here.

Want to know more?

BioStore and the AURES UK representatives will be at the BETT Show which will take place at Excel London from January 23rd – 26th, stand B280.