Park Lane Academy

‘We aspire to be the best at everything we do’

Matters raised on Transition Evening

Dear Parent / Carer, it was a pleasure to see you and your child on Transition Evening. We hope you found the event profitable and had all your questions answered.

However, we are aware that a few queries were raised around two specific issues that we would like to clarify:

sQuid Account and Cashless Catering System

We have recently become ‘cashless’ in school, meaning we do not accept cash at all in school for catering top ups or school trips.

Parents/carers now pay for the above through creating their own sQuid account and topping up the catering purse which then drops into their child’s account on the schools catering system. Catering accounts are automatically created for every child as soon as they join the school. A limit can be set through Squid whereby if the child’s account drops below a certain amount the parent/carer would receive an alert to remind them to top up.

Any child in receipt of a free school meal has their catering account automatically credited with £2.05 each school day. Any amount not spent of this £2.05 ‘drops off’ the account at the end of the day and doesn’t get carried forward. Therefore, it is in the child’s best interests to spend the whole amount.

A sQuid account is in addition to the cashless catering account, it is the ‘tool’ that enables a parent/carer to buy trips and send money through to the catering account.

A child on a free school meal will access their daily funds through their catering account even if a sQuid account has not been created. However, if there wasn’t a sQuid account linked to the catering account that child wouldn’t be able to purchase anything else as the parent/carer wouldn’t be able to top up.

In school we use Biometric Recognition (finger and thumb scanning) for our cashless catering system and Learning Resource Centre (LRC) which we have had in school for a number of years.

A separate consent form will be issued for parents/carers to give their consent for their child to have their prints taken. These are not ‘finger prints’, they are just an image that is captured to identify that child on the school systems. This procedure will save time in the restaurant as the children can simply put their finger/thumb on a machine and their catering account will come up – this saves them having to give their name and the staff looking for them on the system.

Towards the end of the summer holidays we will be sending a sQuid registration letter out to the main parent/carer at the given address for each new year 7. This letter provides a unique reference of 16 numbers and a pin code of 3 numbers and clear instructions of how to set up a sQuid account for your child. Once this has been created you will then have the ‘catering purse’ available on your account to enable you to top this up.

Due to these letters not being created until all new student details are on our system, we are aiming to send these out on Friday 1st September to enable you to sort this out over that weekend. If you are experiencing any problems, please phone the school for advice on Monday 4th September.

Football boots

As part of their PE kit your child will need to have a pair of Astro turf trainers for football (before Christmas) and Football boots for Rugby (after Christmas). This is for both boys and girls.

Can we also take this opportunity to remind you to make sure your child has labelled their clothing as it is almost inevitable that they will misplace something at some point during their first year! It will then make it easier to locate it – especially if it has been handed in at Student Services.

Finally, for those whom have not yet completed the parental consent permission, data collection sheets, and biometric forms, these must be fully completed and returned to the school office, before the start of school in September. It is imperative that this information is accurate on our database to enable us to effectively communicate with you about your child, along with being able to contact you in the event of an emergency.

If you still have any queries, then don’t hesitate to contact the school before the end of this term or visit our website where most of our essential information is kept. We hope you have a very pleasant summer and we look forward to seeing your child in September.

Yours faithfully

Mr Wakefield: Senior Leadership Link to Year 7

Mrs Holmes: Head of Year 7