Cashless Catering System2020-06-30T08:24:49+00:00

Using ParentPay

Here at The Forest Academy, we are now a completely cash free environment. ParentPay is an online payment system, which will be used to pay for school meals and in the future, trips and anything that requires payment.

Each parent will have been provided with a secure online account, activated using a unique username and password; the user will be prompted to change these, and to keep them safe and secure. If a parent has more than one child at the academy, they can merge their accounts to

create one login for all of their children.

Making a payment is straightforward and ParentPay holds a payment history for you to view at a later date; no card details are stored in any part of the system. Once the account is activated, it is possible to make online payments straight away.

Parents will have received a letter from the academy informing them of their unique username and password.

Using PayPoint

For those parents without internet access, payments can be made via the many PayPoint outlets which are available.

PayPoint payments are recorded by ParentPay and can be seen by logging into your ParentPay account and viewing your payment history online. The nearest PayPoint stores to the academy are:

• Manford Way Supermarket
• Hainault Food & Wine
• Bennetts
• Nisa Extra
• PJ & VP Patel Convenience Stores

Please notify the academy Office, if you wish to use the PayPoint facility. A plastic card will be issued to you to make cash payments for school meals at local PayPoint stores. The first card is free of charge; however, any lost or damaged cards will be charged at £5.00 each. Payment cards take about 2 weeks to arrive but a barcoded letter can be issued as an interim measure.

• Payments via PayPoint will take up to 48 hours to be credited to the appropriate ParentPay account. 

• Please click here for Parentpay FAQ

Students that qualify for free school meals can also use the new system. Their accounts will automatically be credited with the amount allocated for free school meals, which the students can then spend in the normal way. The amount will be credited into the account on a daily basis, and when dinners are missed the daily amount will be deducted from the remaining balance. These students can also “top-up” their balances if required. The system helps to reduce the stigma of free school meals, as those students.

Access to the new system is via biometric authentication. An image of the customer’s fingerprint will be taken, and turned into a mathematical algorithm. This will then be used to recognise the fingerprint. Please note: the original image of the fingerprint will be discarded. It will not be possible to reconstruct the image of the fingerprint from the information held on the system. When the customer places their finger on the scanner the software matches the fingerprint to the unique digital signature held in the database.


Benefits of the Trust-e Cashless Catering System2017-07-04T12:56:19+00:00
  • Convenient way of paying for school meals – no more looking for change every morning.
  • Facility to pay On-Line.
  • Increased speed of service reducing queuing times.
  • Alleviates many of the associated problems with the use of cash in schools.
  • Discourages the misuse of school dinner money through spending in shops on the way to school.
  • Automatic free meal allocation with the student remaining anonymous.
  • Automatic alerts to stop pupils purchasing allergy trigger items.
  • Healthy eating is encouraged. Parents can monitor on line what their child is purchasing and can support them in making sensible choices.
  • Students learn about important lifestyle control by monitoring their own accounts.
  • Reporting facilities help decrease wastage and improve the overall efficiency of the meal service.
Can I request a printed report of my child’s meal intake?2017-07-04T12:57:48+00:00

Yes – The Cashless Catering System allows numerous reporting facilities, which includes Dietary Habits. These may be requested by contacting the School Reception.

Can I dictate my child’s dietary requirements?2017-07-04T12:58:01+00:00

The system will allow you to register any items that your child is not allowed due to dietary needs or religious beliefs.  Any such items must be confirmed in writing by the parent/guardian to the School Office.

My child has an allergy, how will this be monitored?2017-07-04T12:58:13+00:00

All allergy records registered with the school will be entered on to the Cashless System.  When pupils attempt to purchase an item, which has ingredients that they are allergic to, the system will alert the operator and prevent them from selling the chosen item.

Can anyone else use my child’s account?2017-07-04T12:58:21+00:00

No – Due to the extensive security on Biometric templates no-one will be able to access your child’s account.  As a secondary precaution a photo image is allocated to each pupil.  If your child is using a 4 digit PIN Code, which someone obtains and attempts to use, the photograph shown on the EPOS Terminal will alert the operator and a fraudulent sale taking place.

How do ‘free meal’ entitlements work?2017-07-04T12:58:30+00:00

All free meal entitlements will be entered on to the system prior to the ‘Live’ day.  The Cashless Catering System will, on a daily basis, automatically allocate the appropriate accounts with the free meal amounts.  Pupils with Free Meal Entitlements remain anonymous at all times as all account types are accessed in the exact same manner regardless as to whether paid for or not.  NB.  Any monies not spent from the daily free meal allocation will not be carried over to the next day.

What happens if my child’s account is not in credit?2017-07-04T12:58:39+00:00

A ‘Lend’ can be processed at the EPOS Terminal, which will then allow ONE meal to be taken.

An automatic overdraft can be set up, which will allow the pupil/staff member to go into debit at the cost of ONE meal.

The Cashless Catering System has a debt tracking facility and the ability to send debt letters to overdue account holders.

Can I change the daily ‘Spend Limit’?2017-07-04T12:58:45+00:00

Yes – The daily ‘Spend Limit’ has a default of £8 but this may be changed by written request to the school reception.

What if I lose my Paypoint Card?2017-07-04T12:58:56+00:00

Replacement cards will be purchased at a cost of £5 from the School.

How can I check the credit on an account?2017-07-04T12:59:05+00:00

This can be accessed by logging into the Parent Pay account (

What methods of payment can be used to credit an account?2017-07-04T12:59:18+00:00

Any amount can be credited to an account by way of any of the following methods.  Once an account has been credited the monies cannot be withdrawn and must be spent on the school meal/break services.

On-Line Payments
We have introduced On-Line Payments in partnership with the Cashless Catering System.  To make a payment on line please go to PARENTPAY ( to make an electronic payment.

PAYPOINT– You will be issued with a PayPoint card, which can be used to top up your child’s account at your local PayPoint stores, the minimum payment is £20.  Payments via PayPoint will take up to 48 hours to be credited to the appropriate account.  You can find your local stores by visiting the website below.

How does my child register on the Biometric System?2017-07-04T12:59:24+00:00

Registration days will take place leading up to the ‘Live’ day of the Cashless System.  At this time registration terminals will be placed in the school.  Your child will attend at a requested time and they will be required to place their finger/thumb on a Biometric sensor twice to obtain a matching template, which only takes a few seconds.  If you have chosen to ‘Opt Out’ of this procedure, your child will be presented with a 4 digit PIN Code.

How does a Biometric System work?2017-07-04T12:59:37+00:00

The information of a pupil or staff member, who has been biometrically registered, is stored on a secure Biometric Controller within the school, which only our provider, Nationwide Retail Systems Ltd, can access.  Once an account is credited the pupil or staff member places their finger/thumb on the EPOS Terminal, which looks up their account details and allows them to purchase items using only this method of identification.

What is Biometric?2017-07-04T12:59:45+00:00

Biometric is simply a method of identifying an individual person.  We will be using an algorithm based scan, which reads between 50 & 130 points on the finger/thumb.  It is not a fingerprint in any way, shape or form and is of use only in the cashless system.

What is a Cashless System?2017-07-04T12:59:56+00:00

A Cashless Catering System is a solution, which is purpose designed to meet the ever evolving needs and demands of the Catering Provision that is required by today’s Schools and Academies.

The Trust-e Cashless Solution allows schools to be better able to provide their students with a faster, more efficient and more appealing meal service.