Some interesting figures are emerging. For example, Falmouth School in Cornwall has a biometric system for school meals, the take up after asking for parental consent is 34%. Only 355 children are using the biometrics system out of a school role of 1044.
The school recently put a plea out to parents to use the biometric system: "Please could I ask as many students as possible to register to pay using the biometric system."
|Falmouth School's appeal to parents for consent to|
their children's biometrics used for cashless catering
So why are schools buying identification systems for food that are only 34% - 68% effective, then having by law, in the recent Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, to provide an alternative means of identifying oneself in order to access food - surely this is a waste of taxpayers hard earnt money?
Why don't kids use use money? Children use money out of school... oh yes, according to schools, it encourages bullying apparently. Does it really?
Are the Headteachers and Principles so incompetent that they cannot sort out bullying issues? - if there is really an issue here at all. If a leader of a school has to resort to buying an inefficient technology in order to eliminate bullying in a lunch line should that Principle or Headteacher be in the job, as presumably they cannot sort out bullying elsewhere too? Also is it not the duty of a healthy society to encourage children to know how to handle money, keep it safe, not steal other's money and behave responsibly around cash?
The argument for having biometric technology in schools is weakening. Complaints need to to be made to schools Governors, who have a responsibility to spend the public's money wisely. On the governments Audit Commission's website (Protecting the Public's Purse) there is an booklet entitled - Fraud risks in schools advice for school governors where it states:
"School governors share a responsibility for protecting taxpayers’ money: As a school governor you have a special additional role. As governors you are individually and collectively responsible for proper control of your school’s finances. The buck does not stop with the financial administrator."Maybe, in these times of austerity, we need to start holding these governors to account, spending our money on biometric systems that are clearly not fit for purpose in a school environment.