Pupils fingerprinted to borrow library books

The Daily Mail reported this week that one in three secondary schools is “forcing children to swipe their fingerprints just to register in class or take out library books”.

The newspaper used the Freedom of Information Act to show how technology was being used to monitor pupils and carry out “basic administration”. “Thirty per cent of high schools are taking fingerprints simply to speed up basic administration such as borrowing books, registering in the mornings and buying canteen lunches,” the paper said.

According to the paper, education secretary Michael Gove has pledged to ban schools from fingerprinting pupils unless they have first obtained explicit parental permission.

Responses given by 27 councils under Freedom of Information legislation show that 111 secondaries are using fingerprint technology. Meanwhile 84 primaries were also found to be using fingerprint technology.

Other councils were unable to provide figures, claiming schools were under no obligation to notify them of systems used.

But replicating the received responses across the country's 150 local education authorities reveals that 30 per cent are likely to use fingerprint systems nationally.

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