Microchip gives staff the lowdown on pupils

Children are being tracked by micro-chips embedded in their uniforms in a trial at a secondary school.

The devices are used to monitor pupils’ movements and register their arrival in class on the teacher’s computer. Supply teachers can also be alerted if a student is likely to misbehave.

The chip connects with teachers’ computers to show a photograph of the pupil, data about academic performance and whether he or she is in the correct classroom. It can also restrict access to areas of the school. The radio frequency identification system is being tested at Hungerhill School in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Ten pupils began wearing a chip sewn into their uniforms eight months ago.

The scheme has drawn criticism from human rights campaigners. “Tagging is what we do to criminals we let out of prison early,” said David Cleater, from Leave Them Kids Alone, which campaigns against the finger-printing of pupils. “It is appalling.”

Graham Wakeling, the head teacher, denied that the school was adopting a “Big Brother” mentality. He said: “The system is not intrusive to the pupil in the slightest. The benefit is that it provides the immediate registration of the pupil as they enter the classroom. This supports staff as they are getting to know pupils. All the information it provides is already stored on the school information management system.” He said the children were all volunteers taking part in a science project.

A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said it intended electronic registration to log attendance on a schools data-base, not “logging every detail of every pupil via covert means”.

Original post timesonline
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