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To think £5 is a shameful fee to replace a school child's Squidcard

(72 Posts)
5Foot5 Sun 10-Apr-11 17:46:59

DDs school introduced a payment card (Squid) for the school canteen about a year ago.

About a week ago she came home and told me she thought she had lost her card. She had used it at lunch time and now couldn't find it anywhere. I had just topped it up that morning and it had about £16 of credit on it so I went online to see what to do.

It seemed fairly efficient. I could register the card as lost which meant that it was immediately blocked. Then the instructions said that she had to request a new one from school and the credit would be transferred to the new card. We did all of this -so far so good.

However, when she came to collect the replacement she was told there was a £5 fee! I was pretty shocked - occasionally DH or I have lost credit/debit cards and the bank always replaces them immediately with no suggestion of a fee.

When I checked the website the terms and conditions said that they might charge a fee where a card has been replaced twice in a six month period. Now this is the first time she has lost it so I sent an email querying the fee but they claim that when I reported it lost there were some FAQs that mentioned it.

Obviously we had to pay the £5 given the card was worth £16, but I think this is a pretty outrageous amount - especially given the cards are used for children's dinner money.

Has anyone else encountered this scheme?

crockydoodle Sun 10-Apr-11 18:03:48

Our school uses fingerprints. They can't lose their finger!

dinosaurkisses Sun 10-Apr-11 18:13:33

We had smartcards at my school working on pretty much the same principle- if you lost it you had to pay for it to be replaced, just like locker keys, gym equipment or passwords for computer access. It made sure we were careful with our stuff- if everyone was careless with them the school would be spending huge sums of money to the companies who run the schemes managing the card systems. Having said that, this was at secondary school, so 11+, I'm not so sure it would work as well at primary level.

Hatesponge Sun 10-Apr-11 18:15:25

We have the fingerprint thing at DS1s school as well, partly I think to avoid problem of lost cards.

Wish he could have the same thing for his oyster card, he has had 3 so far - one failed (free replacement), lost one (£10 fee), then he broke the 3rd one. Have told him he is paying the £10 this time....

onceamai Sun 10-Apr-11 18:37:33

It covers the cost of replacing it. I don't think I would have a problem with it. TBH dd's school still uses cash and it's a risk I'd be happy to take rather than constantly worrying about having change every day and reminding about lunch money.

JugglingNStruggling Tue 30-Oct-12 05:44:21

wrt finger printing
do you really think that schools protect your childs biometric data!
ho ho ho

ripsishere Tue 30-Oct-12 05:46:58

confused by the last post.
My DDs school has a payment card system. It is shite. She had the equivalent of about 20 pounds on it one day, the next day she went to pay for some water and it was empty.
The school have no interest in finding out where it went to <glum>

Cozy9 Tue 30-Oct-12 05:50:02

I never saw what the problem was with using cash.

ripsishere Tue 30-Oct-12 06:37:45

If you had my DD you'd know the problem angry

OpheliaPayneAgain Tue 30-Oct-12 06:54:10

Using cash costs the school money. Securicor or who ever has to come and take it away. It leaves the school wide open to robbery or burglary. Using swipe cards or fingers which are topped up online by parents also prevents dinner money being used to buy fags or bullying. Usually you can request a print out to check that they are actually eating food and not filling up on cakes and overly expensive drinks.

YouSeveredHead Tue 30-Oct-12 06:57:07

Finger printing?

OpheliaPayneAgain Tue 30-Oct-12 07:02:13

The finger is scanned, and an infra red light is used at the till to pick up the childs finger/accoun as fingerprints are unique. Quite common.

Euphemiaaaarrrrgggghhhh Tue 30-Oct-12 07:12:26

Cash is a pain - the kids lose it, forget they have it, get sent in with no money but order a school lunch anyway then someone has to chase the parents for the money, I have to waste teaching time taking in and counting the money, children have been known to steal dinner money en route to the office ....!

MargoThreadbetter Tue 30-Oct-12 07:15:00


I guess anyone who objects has to send packed lunches...

OpheliaPayneAgain Tue 30-Oct-12 07:18:10

I'm not seeing the problem with finger scanning and I have the worlds most suspicious mind.

Euphemiaaaarrrrgggghhhh Tue 30-Oct-12 07:19:44

I can't see why anyone would object to a school storing one of their child's fingerprints. They hold much more sensitive information in children's school records.

MargoThreadbetter Tue 30-Oct-12 07:22:16

How well protected do you think that fingerprint data is?

And can you be sure what will happen to it when child leaves school?

BellaVita Tue 30-Oct-12 07:23:27

I wouldn't have a problem with it.

DS lost his school bus pass, I had to pay to get it replaced.

MargoThreadbetter Tue 30-Oct-12 07:25:51

It's an erosion of freedoms, one fingerprint at a time.

Purpleprickles Tue 30-Oct-12 07:29:55

My mum was telling me about these schemes yesterday as the school her friend's dc attends uses the finger print system. I was a bit hmm about the fingerprints but I've been brought up by a staunch socialist Dad with a suspicion of authority grin
Anyway my question is do these systems have a mechanism if parents forget to top up the accounts? Like a built in emergency fiver? The dc in question had gone all day without food or drink as his fingerprint account was empty. It could be that he didn't like to ask for help but I was just interested.

Purpleprickles Tue 30-Oct-12 07:31:19

Having just read the posts posted after mine my other question is, do parents sign a contract which states the fingerprint data is not passed on?

OpheliaPayneAgain Tue 30-Oct-12 07:31:33

I do love a bit of hysteria.

Of what use is one fingerprint?

MargoThreadbetter Tue 30-Oct-12 07:32:47

In answer to OP, I'd be ok with £5 fee.

Banks have card replacement fees built into their cost structure. School meal cards most probably don't.

But they should be explicit at the outset.

MargoThreadbetter Tue 30-Oct-12 07:33:35

It's salami slicing Ophelia wink

Mrsrobertduvallsaysboo Tue 30-Oct-12 07:33:49

Yes, the old conspiracy theory.

Dc's school have the fingerprinting system. Works well...they can go a couple of quid overdrawn so no one goes hungry.

You think £5 is bad...replacing dcs lost Oyster card is £10 a time.

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