We now have a new catering provider for the school.  Olive Dining has a proven track record of excellence and already provides great food and great service at other schools in the Community Schools Trust.  Olive Dining will provide a more varied and flexible offer for our students and we are confident that parents, students and staff will be very pleased with the changes. 

Along with the introduction of a new catering company, we will also be implementing a new biometric payment system for our students from September 2020.  The current system does not provide a good service for students or parents as it charges parents if a child is present in school, not for what they actually eat from the canteen.

The new system is much more sophisticated and will ensure parents are only charged for what is eaten by their child.  For example, the school Meal Deal will be £2.60 and break time snacks/food will cost between 80p and £1.80.   Previously the system charged parents the same amount whatever was eaten, so this will be much better value for money for our families.  The system is used successfully by thousands of schools and we are convinced that this is the right way forward for Waterside Academy. 

We expect this system to improve the services we are able to offer students and staff significantly, with benefits including:

  • Reduction in queuing times
  • Reduction in administration time and costs
  • The ability to purchase individual items rather than only a set meal
  • Effective linkage to the ParentMail accounts parents already have set up 
  • Specific food allergy ingredients can be barred automatically
  • Healthy eating is encouraged
  • Automatic free meal allocation with the students remaining anonymous
  • Parents are charged ONLY for the food that students eat each day

The school uses the ParentMail system for the payment of school meals.  All parents are set up with an account with ParentMail and this allows for a cashless and safe system for purchasing lunches and other items.  There is a link to the ParentMail system on the Quick Links menu in the header of the website.  If you need any assistance with your ParentMail account please email

Below is a Frequently Asked Questions document which should answer any questions you may have about the Biometrics system the school will be adopting from September 2020.

Catering Payment System FAQWeek 1 MenuWeek 2 MenuWeek 3 Menu