The Government has a spending plan of £2.2 billion over 2005/6 to provide new and improved schools. The aim is to rebuild or renew every secondary school in England. Local Educational Authorities or Learning Authorities (LA's) are working with large companies to deliver the BSF programme.
ICT is an integral part of these schools, delivering learning, internet access, school management, reporting, etc...
Current BSF projects are incorporating biometrics in with this ICT for the usual canteen, library and registration processes.
Whilst I welcome to use of technology in schools in the aproppiate setting, having different systems with different forms of biometric data on e.g. fingerprint, iris scanning, palmprint, is a responsibility the school must take very seriously. Ensuring alternative technology for those children who not wish to participate with their biometrics must be incorporatedso no discrimination happens.
I know you cannot un-invent a technology, but it does seem that our children are the target population of introducing the notion of biometric exchange for access/information. There are serious concerns over adult biometric ID cards, given the Governments disastrous track record of database security and control so what assurances can we have that these schools systems are secure?
But as one of the most surveilled nations in the world I am at a loss as to why we are doing this to the next generation without X-file type conspiracy theories popping in my head!
Just nice to know we're not alone now - the USA is rolling out biometric technology in schools all over the country, with a few exceptions of some states - see my previous blog October 26th.