After the selling off of school playing fields over the past few decades, is biometric technology really the way to fight obesity?
It would be hoped that the Local Government in Oldham is monitoring the level of obesity in these schools, to see whether justifying the amount of money spent "fighting obesity", via biometrics, does have an effect on the health of our school children.
This is a vast amount of public money. If the technology works - great, but lets see some research BEFORE thousands of pounds is sunk into this technology. Maybe there is some research out there proving that biometric finger scanners in school lunch queues does reduce student obesity - if there is, let me know - I'll gladly publish it here.
I suspect though, "fighting obesity" is yet another glamorous claim that using children's biometrics in school can solve. Lets face it, why aren't the retailers of this technology honest? - because the main aim of biometrics in schools is to monitor and if it was sold on that basis there wouldn't be too much support for it.
Saddleworth School -brought in fingerprint-scanning technology to monitor pupils' eating habits. Details of everything they eat is then kept on file and posted to their parents at the end of each week or term. They have been using it for about a month now.
Kaskenmoor School - installing the scanning equipment and will go live next month.
Failsworth School - may bring in the new technology at its new £28 million site when it opens in 2008. At Failsworth, the fingerprint technology would also be used to sign in pupils at the start of the day - getting rid of the need for traditional registration periods
Failsworth School's head teacher David Johnson said:
"We live in an age of obesity, and this system would mean we could track what pupils are eating and report back to parents. I suppose there is an element of Big Brother."
South Chadderton School - expressed an interest in adopting the new technology
North Chadderton School - uses biometric scanning to allow students to pay for school trips to stop them having to carry large sums of money into school.
(details taken from the Oldham Chronicle)