Online payment for school meals being piloted in Surrey
This sounds like a useful tool for parents anxious to see that the money they provide their children actually gets where it is supposed to.
Undoubtedly there are many reasons why it sometimes doesn't - the child prefers to buy a Mars bar and a bag of chips instead, or even some cigrarettes, but I expect it will also avoid the danger for some children of their money being stolen by bullies. In any case, as most schools are making increasing use of IT, this is likely to spread around the country quite rapidly.
I think Highland Council (where I live), for example, started to use smart cards for school meals some years ago, although I'm not sure whether the method of adding credit to the cards is yet online, or if payment still has to be made by more traditional means. One of the features I remember hearing about at the time was that a points system helped to encourage children to choose heatlhier options when making their food selections, by awarding them extra value for certain categories of purchase.