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School pupils to be fingerprinted

Pupils will have their fingerprints taken at their £20,000 high-tech new school canteen in a bid to reduce queues and monitor pupils' diets.


Redhill School in Stourbridge will bring in the controversial technology as part of a plan to implement a cashless system throughout the school.

The system requires pupils to press a finger against a machine which converts the print into biometric data.

This can then be used to identify individual pupils accounts.

The 1,200-pupil school in Junction Road detailed its plans in a letter to parents last month. Headteacher Stephen Dunster said the scheme was part of a long-term plan to allow parents to pay for any school related fees over the internet.

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He said: "We are aiming to have a cashless system throughout the school. The catering system is better for parents because they don't have to provide children with lunch money every morning. From our perspective it is far more efficient as it reduces waiting times."

"We will also be able to monitor what children are buying to make sure they are eating a healthy diet."

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The system is due to go live in November. Since a change in the law last year schools have been required to consult parents before they bring in the technology. The law also allows parents to refuse to allow their children to have their fingerprints taken.

Around half of Dudley's secondary schools use some form of biometric system. But its use has come under fire from civil liberties campaigners, who fear the information could be stored on school databases. Mr Dunster added: "We don't hold fingerprints on file. This is about using technology to benefit our pupils and parents."

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