School meals

Paying for secondary school meals

Most secondary schools in South Tyneside operate cashless biometric fingerprint recognition payment systems for school lunches. 

Pupils and staff are invited to have their fingerprint recorded on a computer system. This means when they pay for their school lunch they press their finger against a special pad, cutting out the need to handle cash.

Parents who do not wish their child to use the biometric system should let their school know.

All pupils can access the dining facilities in school, regardless of whether they use the biometric system.

Schools that have a cashless system

Cashless systems and online payment arrangements operate at secondary schools in South Tyneside that have Council-operated catering services:

  • Hebburn Comprehensive School
  • Mortimer Community College
  • Jarrow School

Benefits of the cashless system

  • Parents can pay online or at a paypoint, cutting out the need for cash and making sure that dinner money is used for that purpose.
  • Individual reports on students' spending can be produced on request.
  • There is no cash handled at any of the tills so the speed of service is increased and queues are reduced.
  • Students eligible for free meals can be assured of anonymity.
  • An 'upper spend limit' stops all the money on a pupil's account being spent in one transaction. This will be set at £3, but may be higher or lower on request.
  • Once loaded onto your account your cash is safe.

Putting money onto your account

There are three ways to put money on your account:

  1. Pay online. This is the easiest and most convenient way. Visit your school's website for more information.
  2. Students can pay coins or notes into the Revaluation Units which are installed in the school. The Revaluation Units will normally be available between 8am and 1.45pm, but must not be used in lesson time.
  3. Students can hand in a cheque made payable to South Tyneside Council to the school catering staff before school or at morning break. Please place your cheque in an envelope with your child's name and tutor group marked on the front of the envelope and on the back of the cheque.

Paying for meals - information for students

  • Select your lunch. Then at the checkout, scan your fingerprint.
  • An assistant will then record your purchases on a special till which will amend the balance of your account.
  • You will be able to see the cost of your meal and the balance left on your account on the checkout terminal.

Free meals

The system is exactly the same for students who are eligible for a free meal.

Every day the computer will credit £2.20, the current price of a two-course meal, on each pupil's account.

We encourage students to use their full meal entitlement.

We offer a great range of meal deals for £2.20.

Pupils eligible for free school meals can put extra value onto their accounts by cash or cheque if they want to buy items over £2.20.

If the cash is not spent it will stay on the pupil's account.