Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Evidence to support claims needed

"I have not been able to find a single piece of published research which suggests that the use of biometrics in schools promotes healthy eating or impoves reading skills amongst children. I am concerned that these reasons are being given as a justification for fingerprinting children. There is absolutely no evidence for such claims."

Dr Sandra Leaton Gray, Director of Studies, Sociology of Education, Homerton College, Cambridge, 20 Feb 2007, quoted here.

As biometric data logging systems have been in some schools for 5-6 years there should be enough evidence now to research whether the claims that made are actually true, so that when quotes such as the ones below are spouted by Local Education Authorities and companies selling the technology to schools, there is evidence to back up claims made.

If the claims are true then prices of up to over £20,000, in one school, should require a cost analysis looking at whether the benefits of the system can be justified against the cost.

If there is no evidence to support claims, then research should at least be done to see whether or not using these systems in school actually does benefit our children.

If there is factual evidence/independant research to support claims made then I, along with government ministers, academics and parents, would be interested in reading it.
"Council bosses are working on a county-wide roll-out [Lancashire] of a scheme which uses electronic scanners to allow pupils to pay for their lunch using their fingers...Council officials say it will make children healthier"

"Mr Sanderson [Education director] that the system had increased book borrowing and reduced theft"

"More time devoted to teaching - every day and for every student!"

"It will help to prevent bullying, by ensuring that students no longer need to carry cash to school"

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