25 Sep

Cashless Catering & Online Payment System

We are pleased to inform you that, as part of our project to improve students’ experiences at St David’s, we are implementing an online payments service. This will allow parents, guardians, and students to pay for trips, buses, meals, and other services online, allowing you to control and monitor this expenditure. Further information and details for the online payments service will be circulated separately. 

As part of this project, we will also be implementing a new student recognition system for the catering services within the College. You may already be familiar with this type of biometric system as Cardiff Council is currently implementing similar cashless catering systems within the senior schools in their catchment area.

We expect this system to improve the services we are able to offer students and staff significantly, with considerable benefits including:

  • Students will not have to remember to bring a card or cash to college
  • Reduction in queuing time for students using the college canteen or coffee shop
  • Ability to view purchases, control expenditure and cash flow
  • Reduction in time and cost in dealing with lost or forgotten cards/ passwords/ PINS

Further information and a consent form will be sent out in October 2015 when the system is ready to go live. In the case of students less than 18 years of age, the form will need to be signed by a parent/guardian. Any student not wishing to use the biometric system will be provided with an alternative form of identification which will allow them to access current and future services. 

This is a technology that is already used successfully by thousands of schools and colleges across the United Kingdom and we would like to make it clear that St David’s College will comply at all times with the Data Protection Act, and with the provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (which came into force in September 2013) regarding the use of biometric data. Further information on biometrics is listed in the notes below.


Background to the use of biometrics in schools & colleges

Biometric information is information about someone’s physical or behavioural characteristics that can be used to identify them. There are many possible biometrics, including for example, a digital photograph, fingerprint, or hand shapes. As part of our identity management systems, we will record a biometric measurement taken from a finger, but not a fingerprint image. The information is stored in a highly secure database and will only be used by the college to confirm who is using a range of services. In future we may use other biometric services where appropriate.

Our chosen solution allows us to use a secure database holding biometric data for use with a range of services. This means we will store the least amount of data possible. This reduces the risk of loss of data.

The data that is held cannot be used by any other agency for any other purpose.

The College will not use the biometric information for any purpose other than that stated above. The College will store the biometric information collected securely in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. The College will not share this information with anyone else and will not unlawfully disclose it to any other person.

Current Legislation – The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

This legislation requires schools & colleges to:

  • Inform parents about the use of the biometric systems in the school and explain what applications use biometrics
  • Receive written permission from one parent if the school is to process biometric information for their child
  • Allow children to choose an alternative way of being identified if they wish