Concerned parents hit out at school fingerprint scheme

PARENTS have raised concerns about a fingerprint identity scheme to be rolled-out to secondary schools in East Dunbartonshire.

Last week's Herald revealed that the biometric technology, which sees pupils using their unique fingerprint to pay for school meals in a cash-less way, will be introduced into Kirkintilloch High, Turnbull High, Bishopbriggs Academy and St Ninian's High next year.

It is estimated that more than 6,000 pupils will be involved in the system, which could potentially be used to monitor attendance and the borrowing of library books.

However, the father of a pupil at Kirkintilloch High, has raised concerns about the scheme.

He said: "Most people associate fingerprinting with suspected criminals.

"It just seems unnecessary and is duplicating systems that the school already has in place.

"I'd like to know how much this is costing. Surely the money could be used for more important things."

A mum also told the Herald that she wants her daughter to be opted out of the scheme.

She said: "It seems like a 'Big Brother' scenario with pupils being monitored."

East Dunbartonshire Council said the scheme was successful and positively received when it was piloted in Lenzie Academy over the last year.

The council spokesperson said only a small number of individuals opted out in favour of being assigned a Personal Identification Number.

The spokesperson added: "The biometric data is used only for the purpose for which it was collected and is destroyed when a pupil leaves school.

"The scheme will form part of the fixtures and fittings of the new school buildings, which was agreed at the design stage."