Online payments for school meals are being rolled out to primary schools in Swansea in the new term.
Swansea Council is covering the cost of introducing the new online system provided by sQuid that allows parents or guardians to pay electronically for school meals and other school items.
A number of payment methods are available so parents can choose which method suits them best.
This system will offer better safety and security and eliminate problems associated with the use of cash such as loss, theft, or bullying.
This follows the successful launch of cashless catering and sQuid online payments at many comprehensive schools in Swansea, and has proved popular with parents and pupils.
Each school will be letting parents know how to register with sQuid, which will be available in the new term.
As part of the new arrangements schools will be asking parents and carers to ensure they pay for school meals in advance to avoid building-up debts.
To help parents the system will automatically alert them when their account is running low.
Sometimes parents or carers may genuinely forget to pay in advance so the school will ensure their child is provided with a meal that day. However, they would be expected to repay the money the following day.
Pupils entitled to free school meals will continue to receive them but parents are still encouraged to create a sQuid account which will allow them to check what their child has eaten for lunch, and also pay for other school items online if they wish.
Cllr Jennifer Raynor, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Lifelong Learning, said:
“This system makes it easier and more secure than ever for pupils in our schools who choose our popular school meals menu and improves the convenience and speed of the service.
“This term we will be asking parents and guardians to ensure that they provide payment in advance, except those entitled to free school meals. This will ensure that they do not fall into debt and that each school can spend all its money on educating our children.
“Free school meals are a statutory right and it is important that where people think they may qualify they register.”
Parents and guardians can find out more on www.swansea.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals where they can also make an online application or print off a form to send to the Civic Centre.
Anyone with queries about free school meals can contact 01792 635894 or email FreeSchoolMeals@swansea.gov.uk or visit the contact centre in the Civic Centre.
Parents can learn more about sQuid and create a sQuid account by visiting www.squidcard.com/welcome