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"FINGERPRINT" SCHOOL PROMISES PUPIL OPT OUT

23-07-2008

The Stirrer can reveal the identity of the Birmingham school planning to introduce biometric testing for pupils wanting school meals – and has learned that at least one other educational establishment in the city has already introduced a similar scheme.

We’ve discovered that Camp Hill School For Girls in Kings Heath is hoping to introduce a finger-based ID scheme for lunchtimes from next October – but insist that parents will be consulted first.

They also say that pupils who feel uncomfortable about the new regime can opt to use a PIN number instead.

Officials insist that contrary to our story yesterday, fingerprints won’t be taken (see link here).

Instead, they say the unique “algorithms” of a finger will be registered, allowing staff and parents to monitor youngsters eating habits, and preventing the theft of swipe cards currently used for food purchases.

When we asked Birmingham Council about their policy, a spokesman said, "Individual schools can decide what systems they want to implement in schools, as the city council does not have a set policy on the use of systems such as the one under consideration at King Edward Camp Hill (Girls).

"We do advise that schools who are considering implementing new systems to check that any new equipment is tamper proof. The ultimate decision to introduce any new systems is however locally managed by individual schools and their governing bodies."

In the meantime, we’ve discovered that Bournville School already operates a similar system, and in the face of resistance from some parents and staff, a swipe card alternative has been introduced.

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