Buying Food At School
There are three main serving points where food can be bought at school.
Top Dining Room – For grab and go items.
Middle Dining Room – For the pasta bar.
Main Dining Room – For traditional food.
The main canteen area seats around 200 students at any one time. We have two sit-ins (one early, one later). Picnic benches are provided outside in various locations for students to sit and eat their lunch. Students who bring a packed lunch are welcome to eat inside the canteen space or use the outside picnic areas.
Paying for Food
We operate a cashless system for buying food which makes it much easier and faster to serve students at break times and lunch times. Most students register to use the fingerprint recognition machines which enables them to top up their account when they run out. Those students who do not want to have their fingerprint taken can use a card. Students are encouraged to top up their accounts before and after school (not during busy times, i.e. break and lunch).
There is a ‘daily spend limit’ of £5.00 per day. This is the maximum amount any one child can spend in one day. Parents can choose to lower this amount if they wish. No cash payments are accepted at the tills for school meals. Instead cash must be loaded into payment machines located in C block. No cash loading is necessary for those students entitled to free school meals unless Free School Meal students wish to purchase extra food/drink over and above their daily entitlement. This is relevant to lunch time only.
Students on Free School Meals buying food and drink at break time will still require payment and accounts will have to be topped up. Accounts must be in credit with enough money for each day. Cash loaders will accept all denominations of cash except 1p, 2p and 5p and £50 notes (the machines will not provide change). Accounts cannot go overdrawn. It is your responsibility to maintain a sufficient balance – this can be checked by students at the loading machines.
We also offer an electronic payments facility called WisePay in order to pay for food online. Parents can top up their child’s food account (as well as pay for trips and music fees) using a credit or debit card at home at any time. Money sent via WisePay to a students account will appear for them to use within 15 minutes. Any balance changes on student accounts will only appear in WisePay at the end of the school day. You will need to register and open your account first on WisePay
Free School Meals
The free school meals daily allowance is £2.50. This is an auto top up facility; therefore if your child is eligible for a free meal then our system will automatically top up your child’s account on a daily basis. Students also have the option to top up their accounts with more money if they wish.
Over 1,300 Wigan children who qualify for a free school meal are missing out, according to the latest figures.
Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
Your child may also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:
- younger than the compulsory age for starting school
- in full-time education
If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2022.