18th July 1997 at 01:00
AUSTRALIA: Schools are using bar-coded swipe cards to stop children skipping classes, writes Geoff Maslen.

In more than a dozen schools in New South Wales and Victoria, pupils run their card through an electronic reader which registers their presence and the time of arrival. Information is downloaded every 10 minutes so teachers can keep a regular check on students' movements.

Some students got friends to swipe their cards for them. However, teachers realised something was wrong when the number in the class did not match the tally scanned by the reader.

The system is expensive with the average large secondary school having to spend Pounds 12,500.

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