A single cashless catering system is being rolled out across the Department of Education and Children’s secondary schools.
Using an online portal, parents and students will be able to pre-load money onto cards, top them up and use them to pay for school meals.
Delivered as part of the Isle of Man Government’s Digital Strategy, the system will reduce cash handling in schools and will provide benefits such as:
- Speeding up the lunchtime catering service
- Avoiding the loss of student lunch money and helping to reduce any instances of theft/bullying
- Providing records of meals consumed
- Supporting cost-saving initiatives and improving efficiencies.
Separate cashless catering systems have been in place in three of the DEC’s five secondary schools. Their experience has been used in developing a uniform system for all five schools.
Tim Crookall MLC, Minister for Education and Children, said: ‘Schools all over the UK are removing cash from canteens and, eventually, school premises in their entirety. Evidence shows this not only improves efficiency and reduces transaction costs, it greatly improves convenience for parents and quality of life for students.
‘More importantly, it ensures that all students are treated the same way in the canteen and has been shown to reduce instances of bullying.
‘Using the experiences of schools already using cashless systems, we are bringing all our secondary schools forward onto a common platform to put them all well on the road to removing cash and I look forward to the progression of this initiative.’
Mark Lewin, Director of Government Technology Services, said: ‘Cashless payments will improve life for parents and students and reduce the cost to Government of handling money. This is a good example of how the Digital Strategy is improving services and delivering savings in tandem.’
To find out more about the Digital Strategy, visit www.gov.im/digitalstrategy