Buxton School has a pupil recognition system using biometrics which is used by Secondary pupils in the canteen. This has significantly improved efficiency in the canteen as we operate a cashless catering system with benefits including:
- Improved security for handling cash transactions in the school
- Reduction in opportunities for bullying as there is nothing that can be stolen for use by another student
- Pupils will not have to remember to bring cash
- Reduction in queuing time
Pupils and staff are able to purchase their lunch and snacks by placing their index finger on the Biometric Reader. Payment will then be deducted from their online account. Accounts must be topped up in advance using the ParentPay system and this can be done either online or via a PayPoint. Students who qualify for FSM will need to be signed up to the biometric system in order to continue to receive their lunch.
New Secondary parent/carers give their authorisation to record a biometric measurement taken from a finger (but not a fingerprint image) from your child. For pupils in Year 7 the letters and permission forms are signed at the interview meeting.
This technology is already successfully used by thousands of schools across the country and Buxton School complies at all times with the Data Protection Act and with the provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 regarding the use of biometric data.
We hope to be able to expand the use of biometric system within school in the future, possibly for library software, print and copy cost control and access control.
If you have any questions concerning the use of biometrics within school please contact the School Office who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Important Notes For Parents
Background to the use of biometrics in school
For the sake of clarity, biometric information is information about someone’s physical or behavioural characteristics that can be used to identify them. There are many possible biometrics, including for example, a digital photograph, fingerprint, or hand shapes. As part of our identity management systems, we will record a biometric measurement taken from a finger, but not a fingerprint image. The information is stored in a highly secure database and will only be used by the school to confirm who is using a range of services. In future we may use other biometric services where appropriate.
Our chosen solution allows us to use a secure database holding biometric data for use with a range of services. This means we will store the least amount of data possible. This reduces the risk of loss of data.
The data that is held cannot be used by any other agency for any other purpose.
The school will not use the biometric information for any purpose other than that stated above. The school will store the biometric information collected securely in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. The school will not share this information with anyone else and will not unlawfully disclose it to any other person.
Current Legislation – The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
This legislation requires schools to:
- Inform parents about the use of the biometric systems in the school and explain what applications use biometrics.
- Receive written permission from one parent if the school is to process biometric information for their child.
- Allow children to choose an alternative way of being identified if they wish.
- Children under 18 who do not have permission by September 2013 will not be able to use existing or new biometrics when using services in the school.
If you do not wish your child to use the biometric system or your child chooses to use an alternative form of identification we will provide reasonable alternative arrangements that allow them to access current and future services.
Should you agree to the processing of your child’s biometric information, it is important that you return the signed consent form below as soon as possible. Please note that when he/she leaves the school, or if for some other reason he/she ceases to use the biometric system, his/her biometric data will be permanently deleted.