MORE than 400 children at High Oakham Primary School in Mansfield now only need their finger to pay for their school meals.
Instead of using cash – or even cards - to buy their school lunches and snacks, when pupils started the new term they began using a cashless system which deducts money from an online account.
The revolutionary system captures co-ordinates from the fingertip, encrypting them into a code that identifies the child and accesses their online account.
When children get to the till, the cashier enters their transaction into the till and instead of handing over cash, the relevant amount is deducted from their account.
The innovation at the school is part of an initial roll-out of the scheme by Nottinghamshire County Council, which is looking at introducing the system to the rest of its 300 primary and secondary schools.
The Council’s cabinet member for personnel and performance Coun Andy Stewart said: “Apart from the obvious security benefits of pupils not having to carry cash, it’s a simple and discreet way of administering free school meals and parents can see what their child has been buying.
“And because parents can easily manage their child’s account online, it will save the school time and resources, removing much of the bureaucracy around administering cash payments and putting school services to better use.”
The Council has teamed up with sQuid, the electronic money operator, to bring in the scheme, which is funded by the Department for Children Schools and Families along with individual schools.
Peter Mansfield, High Oakham’s headteacher, added: “We have been delighted with how well the system has been taken up by parents. It has certainly made lunchtimes easier to manage and has speeded up service at the till.”