Friday, June 06, 2008

More UK schools using childrens fingerprints

Biometric technology using children's fingerprints is well underway across the UK. When systems using biometric fingerprints can cost up to £27,000 this is certainly a big business concern (funded by our taxes!).

The Bexhill-on-sea Observer reports that William Parker Sports College in Hasting has gone fully cashless:

Biometric fingerprints will be used by both pupils and staff to pay for everything from school dinners to theatre trips.

"We will be the first school in the town to be a cashless college," said John Court. "All our catering and anything that parents have to pay for will be paid for from online student accounts."

and in the Journel Live in Tyneside...

A North Tyneside school is spending £15,000 on the latest fingerprinting technology to curb bullying at lunchtime. Every child attending Churchill Community College in Howdon, has had their thumb prints scanned ahead of the launch of the new cashless payment system after the half-term break.

The biometric system is designed to reduce bullying in schools and any potential stigma suffered by those receiving free school meals.

Was bullying so bad at Churchill Community College that they felt the need to throw £15,000 at it? Over in Lancashire it's reported that in Bowland High School:

School dinners have been given a hi-tech overhaul. Headteacher Mr Stephen Cox said:

"Although biometric identification has been used in schools for library use for a number of years, we are one of the first schools in Lancashire to embrace the technology for use in paying for school meals, while it is early days the pupils have embraced the technology and we are hoping it will enhance their lunchtime experience by speeding up service."

2 comments:

Oliver Vass said...

Keep your eyes on the use of the word 'Embrace'! It makes it sound like they love it, cuddle it, and want to take it home as their special bed-time toy. Ahh!

I'm not fooled (as you know).
They accept it, some might think it is cool, but only because they don't understand it. They don't have romantic feelings for it, though!

On this point of not understanding, the latest clarification of the advice from the ICO does make it clear that if children don't fully understand the implications the schools must involve parents.

Pippa said...

Thanks for that Oliver - just read your post about school's security hope you don't mind but I'm going post about it - how apauling!