lovingboth: (Default)
[personal profile] lovingboth
When I was at school, if you didn't have free school meals,* you paid for your lunch in cash every day.

I think L22 had a card, onto which payments were added.

The first year at JA's secondary school was when they introduced a cardless payment system - you're recognised by your fingerprints. On the one hand, eeek, on the other, you just know that losing your card is going to happen.

Until this school year,** if you ran out of credit then you had to go and borrow money from the Pastoral office. Next day, you were expected to pay it back in cash.

Now, you're allowed to go overdrawn on your account - as a parent you get a 'please top up the account' email.

It turns out that you're only allowed to go overdrawn if you start with some credit. So if you have 80p credit in the morning, and spend it all on a drink in the morning you're stuffed: because you have zero in your account, the system won't let you go overdrawn.

As well as emailing to say that's silly, my solution has to been to top up the account with £x.01 - as everything is priced in multiples of 5p, she will never have zero money in the account again...

* One of my memories of the fire service strikes is that they meant I qualified for these one time.

** It may be the side-effect of having a new head.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-03-16 12:40 am (UTC)
barakta: (Default)
From: [personal profile] barakta
Liking your solution, that is a silly bug in the system. I think it's important children can get food and are not shamed for money running out because it's less likely to be their fault.

In my day at secondary school it was pay in cash or if you got 'free school dinners' be outed by queueing to get your free school dinners token each day which meant everyone knew who got free school dinners and there was MUCHO paranoia that the token was not spent by any other child so mega policing on that. Card/other systems eliminate that outing which has been long overdue. Primary was paying weekly and the secretary chasing known annoying disorganised parents (mine) and probably turning a blind eye with school topping up secretly for kids whose families weren't offishul free school meals but were known to be having a hard time. It still outed the school dinner kids cos they didn't hand over cheques or cash for weekly dinners....

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Ian

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