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Cashless Catering

The school operates a cashless catering biometric system. Biometric is simply a method of identifying an individual person through the use of fingerprints. Fingerprints are read and between 50 and 130 points are selected from the finger/thumb.  This creates a mathematical algorithm which is then stored. There are no fingerprint images stored in any form and the algorithm can only be used by the NRS cashless system to recognise the student.

Each student has their own account and the system links to School Gateway to show the items they have bought and the balance on their account. School Gateway is also used to add money onto the students’ cashless catering account either through the School Gateway Website or by downloading and using the free School Gateway App available for both Apple and Android devices. If you would like further information please contact the main office or see the information on the School Gateway page.


abm Catering

From 1 August 2021, the catering at Cottingham High is provided by abm Catering, a leading school meals provider.

The menus provided are freshly made, seasonal and fully nutritionally compliant. Food is served before school, at break and at lunch times from The Canteen, with additional facilities available including a ‘grab and go’ outlet outside the old block social area. Sixth Form use, providing a café concept in the Sixth Form social area. If you would like further information regarding the catering provided, please contact the Catering Manager. Sample menus are available to view below.

Meal deals are charged at £2.70 and include a main meal, dessert and water. Alternatively, a main meal and a dessert can be purchased for £2.55. Please note, street food is not included in the meal deal.

Menu's run on a three-week rotation, please see menu's below.

Is your child eligible for free school meals?

Cottingham High encourages parents and carers to apply for free school meals as we know that this could save parents up to £456 per child per year and encourages students to eat healthy food. At Cottingham High students receive a £2.70 allowance per day which is automatically added to their cashless catering account to be spent at lunchtimes only, any unspent allowance is again automatically deducted at day end.

Some parents may be reluctant to apply because they are concerned about any stigma attached to students receiving free school meals. However, because this system is automatic, students are not personally identified as receiving a free school meal and as such anonymity is ensured.

A new free school meals online application has been created which allows the parent/guardian to check if their child is entitled to free school meals before completing the online application process.

This new online facility speeds up the application process when applying for free school meals as it allows parents/guardians to check entitlement and receive instant confirmation if their child is entitled before completing the online application form. 

To check eligibility or to make a new claim for free school meals please visit:           

In order to qualify for free school meals the parent must be in receipt of any of the following benefits:

  • Job Seeker's Allowance (income-based)
  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit - Your annual income assessed by the Department for Work and Pension must be less than £7,400. Any pupil eligible for free school meals before 1 April 2018 when the earned income threshold is introduced will retain their eligibility until then end of universal credit roll-out which is March 2022
  • Child Tax Credit (but NOT receiving Working Tax Credit) – provided your annual income, assessed by the Inland Revenue, does not exceed £16,190
    (Please note: this amount is subject to change in April every year)
  • Employment Support Allowance (income-related)
  • Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

The benefit section continue to administer free school meal applications for children under 19 years old, in full time education and attending an East Riding School.  Any queries please contact the benefits team on 01482 393939, or email alternatively customers can call into a local customer service centre.