Friday, March 30, 2007

How much...?

Parrenthorn High in Prestwich has become the first school in Bury to use biometric fingeprint scanners for cashless school meals - at a cost of £25,000.

"The government-funded scheme will be introduced at eight more secondary schools in Bury by 2008"

At £25,000 a throw, that's a cool £225,000 spent on biometric cashless food systems in Bury alone. I'm too speechless to comment on the amount of money Bury and the government are spending on this.

2 comments:

Guy Herbert said...

Of course Bury is getting a bad bargain, all state procurement is hopeless. I expect their preceding cash handling routines, if mandated by the local authority, were hopelessly inefficient, too.

What concerns me is the tracking: "Pupils even register points for making healthy choices and are rewarded for healthy eating."

This is immediately more than a payment system. It is a behaviour management system.

Pippa said...

Absolutely agree. The data collection that schools have to supply government from pupils is immense, so from a schools perspective this technology makes a quick solution to their administration – but it should not be done by stealth or without parental consent by biometrics.

The data already collected by schools on our children is mostly oblivious to parents, so at the very least when their children’s biometrics are attached to said data, parents should be consulted, know who is viewing the data collated against their children – PFI?…

But perhaps most importantly, I think, our children should be taught the importance of ownership of their biometric information and be in control of where and when they choose to use it...and be aware of how/who is using it...