Friday, February 25, 2011

Chichester High School for Girls - Why?

Schools are still not communicating too well with parents, as headlines only this month portray - "Anger over school’s bid to fingerprint its pupils" at Chichester High School for Girls where they are assuming consent unless parents inform them otherwise.

Regardless of whether Chichester High School for Girls obtain consent now, they will have to try and collect 1463 (no of pupils) x 2 (parents) = 2926 signatures to continue using it during 2012.

Why would they buy such a system when swipe cards/pin numbers will be far less burdensome for them?

The logical long term implication is that the school potentially scraps biometrics and opts for an easier administrative system or the school uses it resources to collect and monitor signatures related to childrens biometrics they process - either way, what a waste of taxpayers money!


Anonymous said...

Schools will need to obtain this permission to store photographs or any other personal information needed for identification (biometrics), so the cost will be incurred as a direct consequence of the proposed legislation.

Schools will now obtain dual permission automatically when children enrol, so the problem is only a short term one affecting schools who already have identity management systems of almost any type.

Identity cards are administratively burdensome, expensive to replace when lost, and deprive children of services in school when forgotten. Remember, schools will need dual parental consent to use identity cards with photographs on. Cards without photos on lead to potential abuse.

Schools choose biometrics because they are cheaper to buy and run, are more efficient, and have a reputation for working. All good biometric systems have an opt out and alternatives. 99.8% of students and parents are apparently happy to use them when not coerced and are offered an alternative.

Schools will simply obtain dual permission because it is cheaper to do this than to run a card based systems.

Schools do not buy systems that are a waste of money or fashionable but useless.

Having said that, opting out of biometrics should be simple. Collecting written parental approval is a good thing from one parent repesenting the family, even if it is an expensive admin burden, as once permission is obtained formally, the tiny percentage of people who object will be satisfied. Rights will be protected

It is sad, but this legislation will make no difference to the need for identity management in schools, nor affect the choice of biometrics made by parents, student and schools in future. It will just add to the costs and admin burden of running schools.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the biometrics system has been a waste of time. I am not sure where the figure of 99.8% approval has risen from, as almost everyone who I spoke to whom heard the proposal thought it was a waste of school funds that could have been better spent. There are other facilities that the funding could have been put towards, but instead, the money has gone towards something unnecessary.