School dinners on the biometrics menu

3rd August 2007 at 01:00
Biometric technology in schools is finally being taken seriously by the Government (TES, July 27). Advice issued this week includes sensible recommendations, including full consultation with parents. But schools wishing to automate catering, registration or library systems must be made aware of some significant issues.

Canteens pose particular problems with their high number of food-encrusted fingers, but advances in subcutaneous scanners, which examine the tissue directly beneath the cutis, seem to be the answer. Adopting this technology can help schools reduce bullying for tuck money and prevent pupils on free meals from being stigmatised.

Schools must also be reminded that until children are about 14, their fingers will grow so fast that it's unlikely their fingerprint signature will be the same 12 months later, so schools in the United States have introduced an annual biometric re-enrolment of pupils. This "data-cleansing" should be adopted for all UK schools to reduce failure rates and allay security fears.

Stuart Thorn

Chief Executive,

Electrone Europe

(supplier of data entry devices to US high schools),



Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now