Biometric Registration Systems

Priestlands School operates biometric systems for the purchase of food and drink in the dining hall, and for use in the Library to manage the loan of books.

Background to the use of biometrics in school

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.  Priestlands School records a biometric measurement taken from a finger, but not a fingerprint image. The information is stored in a highly secure database and is only used by the school for the purposes of library management and cashless catering.

The data that is held cannot be accessed or 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 continue processing biometrics for their child.
  • Allow children to choose an alternative way of being identified if they wish.
  • Children under 18 who do not have permission 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 we will provide reasonable alternative arrangements that allow them to access current and future services.
  • When your child leaves the school, or if for some other reason they cease to use the biometric system, their biometric data will be permanently deleted.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please contact the school.

The main benefits of a biometric cashless system are:

  • Ensure complete confidentially for free school meal entitlement - daily credit will be automatically assigned.
  • Improve further the efficiency of service, with faster delivery.


How are students and staff recognised by the system?

All students and staff will be registered by biometric measurement and photograph. The biometric measurement takes a part image of some of the coordinates of the fingerprint. This information is then converted, encrypted and stored as a unique number. This data cannot be converted back into any image of a fingerprint, nor can it be used by any other source for identification purposes.

What data will be held on the system?

Certain data will be held on the system to enable accurate operation. This will include the student's name, tutor group, photo, account balance, meal entitlement and the biometric number. Other than the biometric number, this data is already held in the school Student Information Management System. All the data will be handled under the guidelines of the Data Protection Act. The data will only be utilised for the purposes of the cashless catering system and will be destroyed when the data is no longer relevant (such as when a student leaves the school).

How is the biometric system utilised to obtain food?

A finger will be placed on a biometric scanner at a till. This will activate an individual's account which will be displayed on screen for the catering operator, including name and current balance. The operator will then enter the selected food and drink into the system from an itemised keyboard, while the amount spent and the new balance will show on the display.

Further information about the day to day operation of the Kitchen system can be found on the School Meals page