Amey, a provider of essential facilities services to local and national Government, has provided pupils and parents with an easier way of paying for school meals with the upgrading of its cashless catering system across its Renfrewshire Schools contract.
The new system, developed by software company Vericool, has created a safer way to purchase food during Covid and removed maintenance and rental costs associated with cash top up machines. It has also reduced the need for secure cash pickup from schools. Over the duration of the contract, it is anticipated that the new solution will save approximately £130,000.
The introduction was supported by Renfrewshire Council’s cashless catering project team who are working to ensure all Renfrewshire schools and nurseries have online payments for parents and carers.
The cashless system, which is hosted in the cloud as a Microsoft Zero Platform, was implemented in four days and since then staff and pupils have embraced the new way of using the canteen. It has allowed the school to capture data such as the types of food children are eating, how many access free school meals and total spend.
Although a very small number of cash top up machines remain at the schools, the level of top ups dropped dramatically, and it is estimated that secure cash pickup will reduce by 80%.
John Patterson, Operations Director for Amey Secure Infrastructure’s Scottish region, commented; “We are continually trying to provide our customers with easier and cheaper ways of operating. During the pandemic we realised that cashless systems also built in an added level of reassurance for pupils, teachers and parents. We have been thrilled with the response to this new tool.
Amey delivers facilities and estate management services to the Renfrewshire Schools Private Finance Initiative across an estate of nine schools. The team works in partnership with clients and end-users to provide a year-round service that is compliant, safe and provides the best possible learning environment.
It is now anticipated that the solution will be rolled out across further sites within the Glasgow School contract.