Over recent years, schools across the country have moved to what is referred as a ‘cashless’ system to manage school meals, trips out of school and all other events that require payment from you. This is a system which is much more efficient for the school in terms of human resources and is also much easier for you to manage. Thanks to this new system, students will no longer need to bring cash with them to school to pay for school meals. In the future, we may consider extending it to include the management of borrowing from the library, accessing school printers and monitoring attendance.
The school management team and Governors have decided to adopt this cashless approach from September 2017, using what is known as a ‘biometric system’. This technology is already used successfully by many schools and we are planning to trial it after the June half term with a view to bringing the cashless system fully on line from September 2017.
BIOMETRIC INFORMATION AND CONSENT FORM
Biometric information and how it will be used
Biometric information is information about a person’s physical or behavioural characteristics that can be used to identify them, for example, information from their fingerprint. As I have said, school would like to take and use information from your child’s fingerprint and use this information in the first instance for the purpose of paying for food in the school canteens and tuck shops.
The information will be used as part of an automated biometric recognition system. This system will take measurements of your child’s fingerprint and convert these measurements into a template to be stored on the system. An image of your child’s fingerprint is not stored. The template (i.e. measurements taking from your child’s fingerprint) is what will be used to permit your child to access services.
The law places specific requirements on schools when using personal information, such as biometric information, about pupils for the purposes of an automated biometric recognition system.
(a) the school cannot use the information for any purpose other than those for which it was originally obtained and made known to the parent(s) (i.e. as stated above);
(b) the school must ensure that the information is stored securely;
(c) the school must tell you what it intends to do with the information;
(d) unless the law allows it, the school cannot disclose personal information to another person/body.
At Stepney All Saints School, we will comply at all times with Data Protection Act and with the provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (which came into force in September 2013) regarding the use of biometric data and in no way can this data be used in any way to put your child at any risk.
Providing your consent/objecting
The information from your child that we wish to use is referred to as ‘biometric information’ Under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (sections 26 to 28), we are required to notify each parent of a child and obtain the written consent of at least one parent before being able to use a child’s biometric information for an automated system.
However, consent given by one parent will be overridden if the other parent objects in writing to the use of their child’s biometric information. Similarly, if your child objects to this, the school cannot collect or use his/her biometric information for inclusion on the automated recognition system.
You can also object to the proposed processing of your child’s biometric information at a later stage or withdraw any consent you have previously given. This means that, if you give consent but later change your mind, you can withdraw this consent. Please note that any consent, withdrawal of consent or objection from a parent must be in writing. Even if you have consented, your child can object or refuse at any time to their biometric information being taken or used. Their objection does not need to be in writing. We would appreciate it if you could discuss this with your child and explain to them that they can object to this if they wish.
If you do not wish your child’s biometric information to be processed by the school, or your child objects to such processing, the law says that we must provide reasonable alternative arrangements for children who are not going to use the automated system to pay for food in the canteen.
If you give consent to the processing of your child’s biometric information, please sign, date and return the enclosed consent form to the school.
Please note that when your child leaves the school, or if for some other reason he/she ceases to use the biometric system, his/her biometric data will be securely deleted.
If you would like further information from the school regarding Parent Pay, please speak to the Data Manager.