Current Catering update

We would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some really important information about your school meal service. We wanted to reassure you that we have everything covered so that we can continue to feed the children with a hot menu

We appreciate how many changes schools are having to make to keep children and staff safe and we are working with them to offer the best food solution.

Here’s a summary of what we have done behind the scenes:

  • We now operate a cashless catering service PlusPay (parentmail), which allows a much faster and effective operation at break and lunch times.
  • All changes that have been made are in conjunction with up to date government led guidance and advice, especially around social distancing, food safety and enhanced cleaning regimes.
  • Our lunches provide a nutritious range of food that differs every day.  

Introduction to the Catering Team

The catering staff at Rayner Stephens take great pride in the food they produce. Food is cooked on the premises and ingredients are sourced from local suppliers.

Currently we work on a four week menu rota. .   

We offer a wide range of hot and cold foods and start the day with Breakfast from 8am - 8.30am..

At break students and staff can purchase food and drinks from a great selection of balanced and nutritious foods, drinks and bottled water. The school operates a split lunch system with Years 8 and 9 students having lunch at 12.25 pm followed by Years 7, 10 and 11 students at 1.25 pm. These hours have slightly changed due to the current climate and regulations.

Students are expected to have their meals in school as they can select from a wide ranging menu at competitive prices. A cashless cafeteria system is in operation and each student is registered through the biometric system (currently not being used due to current regulations).  Families can pay in advance weekly, monthly or termly by PlusPay. The biometric system is exactly the same for students on free school meals and accounts can be topped up in the same way if required using PlusPay. Students may bring packed lunches to be eaten in the dining hall.  

Free School Meals Entitlement

Children are entitled to receive free school meals if their parents or guardians receive any of the benefits below:

  • Universal Credit, provided they have an annual net earned income not exceeding £7,400 (£616.67 per month)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by HMRC
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

If you think your child is eligible for free school meals please click here.


We are pleased to announce that we are able to accept payments online for items such as dinner money, school trips and music tuition.  Using a secure website called PlusPay (Iris parentmail) you are be able to pay online using your credit/debit card or PayPal. PlusPay (Iris parentmail) is now our only method of making payments to school.

What are the benefits to parents and pupils?

  • PlusPay is easy-to-use and will offer you the freedom to make online payments whenever and wherever you like, 24/7
  • the technology used is of the highest internet security available ensuring that your money will reach school safely – offering you peace of mind
  • payments can be made by credit/debit card full payment histories and statements are available to you securely online at anytime
  • you are able to view the choices that have been made at break/lunch time by your child
  • your children will not have to worry about losing money at school
  • parents can choose to be alerted when their balances are low via email and/or SMS text

What are the benefits to our school?

The more parents that use PlusPay, the greater the benefit is to our school.  You can help us reduce workloads for all staff, creating more time to lend to educational support and the smooth running of the school.  Using PlusPay also ensures that all financial transactions are safe and secure - helping us to remove costs associated with us having to manage cash securely on the school premises.

How to get started with PlusPay

Once your child starts with Rayner, you will receive your account activation details, once you receive these:

  • Enter your Activation username and password in the Account Login section of the homepage. NB. These are for one-time use only, you will choose your own username and password for future access during the activation process
  • Provide all the necessary information and choose your new username and password for your account - registering your email address will enable us to send you receipts and reminders
  • Once activation is complete you can go to straight to Items for payment, select which item(s) you want to add to your basket and proceed to complete your payment

If you have any questions, please contact the school Admin Office.

Biometrics - Cashless Catering

Our cashless catering system was introduced a number of years ago and is well embedded within school. The feedback we received about dinner cards are that they can very easily be lost and damaged. With this in mind, and in order to support students with receiving the most effective service in the dining hall, we have introduced alternative ways of registering the students. Moving to the bio-metric recognition system has proven to be effective and we hope all of our families will continue to support us in this development.

Bio-metrics authentication is the automatic recognition of a person’s characteristics i.e. fingerprint. There are many different bio-metric features that can be used for authentication purposes; at Rayner Stephens High School we use fingerprint recognition. Our system uses an image of the fingerprint to create a mathematical algorithm and then discards the fingerprint; only the numbers remain and these cannot be re-interpreted back into a fingerprint image.

Why do you need to take my child’s fingerprint?

By taking an image of your child’s fingerprint we can turn this information into a digital signature which will give them automatic access to the catering service.

Will fingerprints be used by any other agency?

No, the software we use turns your child’s fingerprint in to a mathematical algorithm. The image of the finger print is then discarded. The information that is stored cannot be used to recreate an image of the child’s fingerprint.

How does it work?

When your child places his/her finger on the scanner, the software matches their finger image with a unique digital signature held on the database. All data is kept confidential and safe and is deleted very easily once your child is no longer at the school.


All schools that have this system in place are required to obtain written parental consent for students who use biometric data as an automated recognition system. In order to obtain this permission, you will receive a letter when your child joins Rayner Stephens which will contain further details.  Should you have any queries regarding this well established system, please do contact the school office on 0161 338 2374.

Catering Price List

Catering Menus