Pay Securely for Lunches, Trips, DofE and Enrichment Courses
We operate a 'cashless' payment system at Varndean School for students and staff. This allows students and staff to use a cashless catering card to buy food and beverages rather than having to bring cash to school.
The cashless catering card works like a debit card, holding a balance from which any purchase amount is deducted. Parents can top up the account balance by making online payments via ParentPay. Balances can also be checked at the cash-loading machine when the canteen is open for students or they are on view at the tills after a transaction. A balance reminder via email will always be sent out to parents when a top up is needed.
From September 2020, Varndean will no longer accept cash in any form. Therefore, students will only be able to buy food at the canteen using their cashless catering cards which can be topped up via ParentPay.
As well as lunch payments, the online account also enables you to pay for school trips and other products such as revision books.
Passwords and login details are sent home. The log in link is below. In the meantime, you can find out more in the FAQs below, or on the ParentPay website.
What is the purpose of the cashless system?
Who do I contact if I have any queries about the food or about ParentPay?
How is the card used to purchase food and drink?
How does my child get a card to use in the canteen?
How can I top up my child's card?
If you do not have access to the Internet, you can request a Paypoint card to top up so your child can top up their ParentPay card in the canteen manually.
How do I check my balance?
How much money will my child need per day?
A lunch time meal of a main and dessert is available daily for £2.20. (this does not include a drink) The average daily spend on student’s cards is £1.20 at break time and £3.50 at lunch.
What if my child loses their card?
If a card is lost please notify Varndean School immediately and the lost card can be deactivated.
Loss of a card will not mean financial loss to the cardholder; the balance of the card is held on a secure database and can be transferred to a new card. If the card is not found, a new one can be issued and will carry all the previous data and balance. If your child loses their card they will need to go and see the canteen staff who can arrange to have a new one issued, there is a charge for a replacement: £3.50 for a new card or £5.00 for key fob & holder.
What if someone else tries to use my child's card?
When a student uses their card and swipes it to make payment a photo comes up on the screen so that the till operator can verify that it is the correct student using the card.
What happens if the card accounts runs out of credit?
What if a student forgets their lunch card?
Can cash be used to pay for any food at Varndean School?
Can I limit the amount my child spends each day?
How can I see what my child is spending?
Will I get a receipt for my purchase?
Overspend Policy with effect from 28/09/20
It is important that students keep their catering cards topped up with money at all times. The school will not allow you to spend more than you have on your card, so if you try to buy food or drinks and do not have enough credit on your card, you will be asked to put some items back. However, it is also important that students have something to eat at lunchtime, so if you have absolutely no money on your card and nothing to eat, you may have one of these emergency food options at lunchtime only:
No food will be allowed if the account is not in credit.
No Drinks or snacks.
1 savoury food item up to the value of £1.45
No drinks or snacks.
You can be served lunch at the Catering help desk or the Pod's who will check and charge your account.
You must then ensure that the money to pay for this item is put onto your account via ParentPay by the following morning as well as additional money to pay for the following days' lunches. Any student who does not repay the emergency food cost by the next day, or who attempts to bypass or abuse the system, will be referred to their school base.
Free School Meals
The FSM allowance of £2.20 is loaded daily on to the card. The balance of the allowance will only show at the till and will not show online on ParentPay or at the cash loader in the canteen. If the allowance is not fully spent on the day there is no rollover facility for the balance. The FSM allowance cannot be used for breakfast service - it is activated after 9am.
As there is no rollover facility we do advise where possible to top up the daily allowance with some money to allow the student to purchase additional items if needed.
MyPod for Pre-Ordering - Click & Collect service for custom-made salads and baguettes
For more information and 'how to' videos, click here for the ParentPay FAQs page.
For financial queries please contact:
For catering and food queries please contact:
Lunch today local Cumberland sausage, crushed new potatoes & vegetables or plant based Cumberland sausages, crushed new potatoes & vegetables https://t.co/wuvY3d9gwK
Lunch today chicken & spinach tikka or vegan chickpea & spinach Balti https://t.co/KlCsg2g3VQ
A dodgy reconstruction, but this (if I remember correctly) is how the final ATV produced episode of Crossroads (3567) would have started on 28th January 1982... https://t.co/7uHNmnM8Ro