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Aberdeenshire adopts myaccount for school lunch payments



Council becomes first in Scotland to use Improvement Service's sign-in for parents paying for meals online

Aberdeenshire Council has taken up the Improvement Service's myaccount authentication system for use by parents paying for their children's school lunches online.

It is the first in the country to do so, having made it available for the county's 17 academies in December, and with plans to do so for all primary schools by the middle of June.

The council is also planning to make it available for other payments, such as for school trips, as part of a future phase.

Parents or guardians can use myaccount to provide the authentication in setting up an online payments account, adding details required by the council to establish the link to their children, then provide the money through their debit or credit cards. It goes to the school's bank account and the parents are able to check on their balances and transactions online.

The Improvement Service said that hundreds of parents have signed up so far and that the number is continuing to increase.

Growing demand

Nicola Graham, Aberdeenshire Council’s head of IT, said: "Across Aberdeenshire, internet access and usage is increasing. With more people using mobile telephones than landlines, and with a massive upturn in smartphone sales, there is a clear and growing demand for more public services to be made available on the move ̶ anywhere and at any time.

"Aberdeenshire Council is firmly committed towards addressing this demand, planning to expand the range of online services throughout 2016 and beyond."

myaccount was launched in 2014 by the Improvement Service, the support body for local authorities in Scotland, as a secure authentication mechanism for online services. It has been used by organisations including City of Edinburgh Council, Transport Scotland and NHS Scotland, and has been integrated with the National Entitlement Card.

Aberdeenshire is the first council to use it for payments for school lunches, and the Improvement Service said others are looking to follow.

Image from USDAgov's flickr stream, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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