School meals: cashless catering

How do I apply for an Accord/National Entitlement Card? 

Primary School Pupils will automatically be given a National Entitlement Card when they are enrolled in School.

When children move up to secondary school, they need to apply for an Accord/National Entitlement Card for using the catering facilities at Aberdeen City Council Secondary schools. This card will also carry Young Scot entitlement.

To get a card for your child for secondary school simply follow the link below to complete the online application form.

Apply for an Acord/National Entitlement Card


What happens after I apply for an Accord/National Entitlement Card? 

The card will be sent to the home address and once your child has the card, it’s theirs to keep and the unique number on the card is the reference number you use to top-up the card online for school meals. Therefore, it’s important that the application needs to be completed as soon as possible. Once they have the card, they should take it to the school office where it will be activated for use with the catering system at the secondary school.

Please note: If your child already uses a card at Primary School you still need to apply for new card, as this one will need to have a photo on it.

For more details please view our information sheet:

How do I top up my child's Accord Card? 

The Accord/ National Entitlement Card is used by pupils at all of Aberdeen City Council's schools to pay for healthy and tasty meals and snacks. Topping up your child’s card couldn't be easier and can be topped up online. This method is safe, secure, and convenient and means that your child no longer needs to take money to school.

Primary school meals cost £2.20 and £2.45 for Academy; you can top up online at the following:


Please allow up to 48 hours for the payment to be processed.

Alternatively, money can be taken to school and loaded onto the card at one of the load terminals if your child is in Secondary School, or by a member of the Catering Team in Primary Schools. If you wish to pay by cheque, this can be taken to the Accord Administrator at the school. Cheques should be made payable to 'Aberdeen City Council'.

Make an enquiry about Cashless Catering

You can make an enquiry about your child’s cashless catering card or account for the following:

  • If you have an enquiry about the card balance
  • Transfer a balance to another card
  • Request a refund
  • Request your card number

Free school meals

Did you know that you could qualify for free school meals? You may be entitled to free school meals if you or your parents/guardian receives one or more of the following:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC) but not working Tax Credit and your parents/guardians income is less than £16,105
  • Both maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit and your parents/guardians income is under £7,330
  • Asylum Seeker support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Seeker Act 1999

The HM Revenues and Customs website provides further information on Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.

You can apply for free school meals online. Once your entitlement for free school meals is verified, £2.45 will automatically be loaded to your Accord Card each day so you can pay for food and drink within the school. Each secondary school will determine when the £2.45 is available to spend, as some schools will allow it to be spent at any point in the time, but others may restrict this being spent at times other than lunchtime. Your secondary school will be able to confirm this.

The process is totally confidential and nobody can tell by looking at your Accord Card that you receive free school meals.

Balance alerts

Parents and carers can now receive balance alerts for their child's Accord Card. Find out more about balance alerts or sign up online:

For help with Accord Cards

Contact us
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