School Meals


Aspens Student Leaflet 2020 Page 1

Food allergies or intolerances

Please see attached a letter from our catering supplier who are reviewing which students have food allergies. In order to ensure our records are up to date, if your child has an allergy or intolerance and purchases food or drink from our canteen we would be grateful if you could return the attached form as soon as possible.

Where information is held about a student with an allergy or intolerance our system will alert the canteen staff to not allow the purchase of certain items. Therefore, it is important the information we hold is up to date to avoid refusal of purchases.

If you have any concerns please speak to the relevant Head of Year.

Cashless Catering

The Open Academy uses a biometric finger reading system for use with its cashless catering system. We wish to make it clear that the OnRecord solution being used by the Academy does not store fingerprint images and is widely used in other schools/academies.

+Pay is a convenient and secure way to pay for Academy meals.  +Pay offers you the freedom to make payments whenever and wherever you like, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - safe in the knowledge that the technology used is of the highest internet security available.

Making a payment is straightforward and +Pay holds a payment history for you to view at a later date; no card details are stored in any part of the system. 

Cash is not paid when purchasing food. Instead, the student uses the finger reading system at the till. A photograph of the student appears at the till allowing the till operator to match the student to the photograph. A photograph of the student appears on the till operator’s screen and they are able to debit the cost of the food/drink from the student’s account. If the student is entitled to a Free School Meal the cost will be debited from this first with any remaining cost being deducted from the student’s account.

The Open Academy has chosen this system for the following reasons:

  • To eradicate any distinction between students receiving or not receiving free school meals
  • To reduce bullying of students for monetary gain
  • To allow parents/carers to monitor what their child is eating, if required.

If you would like further information regarding this please contact the Finance Office.


Applying for Free School Meals

If you receive one of the benefits listed below you may be eligible to apply for free school meals:

• Universal Credit - with an annual earned income of no more than £7,400 after tax
• Income Support
• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
• Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
• The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
• Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for the four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
• Child Tax Credit (with no Working Tax Credit) with an annual gross income of no more than £16,190

How to apply
You can apply for free school meals online using the link below:

Alternatively, you can download an application form and return it, or collect one from your child’s school

The Free School Meals Team can be contacted on 01603 222518 or by email at for further advice and guidance.

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