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Use of fingerprinting

At least 285 schools in England are fingerprinting pupils without any government guidance, a Liberal Democrat investigation has shown. The report says only a quarter of local authorities had details about the use of fingerprinting and the Government has no idea how many children have their information stored. The data is used for various purposes, including taking registers, by school libraries and for administration.

Sarah Teather, LibDem education spokeswoman said the schemes were open to identity theft if information is held on insecure school computers.

A government spokesman said: "It is for individual schools to decide if they wish to take and hold biometric data. We will shortly be issuing guidance to all schools on best practice when taking, storing and disposing of data, including biometric data."

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