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Pupils scan fingerprints to buy food in school canteen

Academy@Worden students with catering manager Linda Foster, who are getting ready for fingerprint payments in the canteen

Academy@Worden students with catering manager Linda Foster, who are getting ready for fingerprint payments in the canteen

Teens travelling abroad may have got used to having their fingerprints scanned at the airport – and students in Leyland will soon be able to use their biometric data to buy food in the school canteen!

Teens travelling abroad may have got used to having their fingerprints scanned at the airport – and students in Leyland will soon be able to use their biometric data to buy food in the school canteen!

Academy@Worden is introducing a unique new system where pupils’ fingers will be scanned into a machine, and the data stored so that they can buy food, drinks, and eventually pay for uniforms and school trips just by scanning their finger tips.

Headteacher Chris Catherall says: “We’re hoping to make the school completely cashless, because we feel it’s safer.

“The main thrust with this now is to speed things up in the dining room first of all, and students will use their fingers to pay for items.

“Parents can put money into their childrens’ accounts online, so they can limit their spends, and they can also see exactly what their children are buying.

“They can monitor whether their children are eating the right kind of foods, and when they are eating, so it’s really getting the parents involved.

“It also removes the stigma for those on free school meals, because they will just scan their finger in the machine like everyone else.”

The registration of the biometric data will being carried out shortly, and the system will go live in early July.

Permission forms have been sent out to parents to sign, and families will have to opt-in to the new system if they want to take part.

“We’re not storing fingerprints,” Mr Catherall assures. “It doesn’t actually read fingerprints, it looks at four points on the finger and stores that in a digital number system. It stores it as a unique number.

“We’ve had a few tests and it’s really efficient. The cleaning staff have got a similar clocking-in system, using biometric data.

“We’re hoping to roll it out across the school, so parents will be able to use the accounts to pay for things like school uniforms, sports kits and school trips.”

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