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Schools: Fingerprints

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 23 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether schools have powers to collect pupils’ fingerprints without the prior written consent of parents; and if he will make a statement. (126223)

[holding answer 8 March 2007]: Maintained schools have the power to collect pupils’ personal data, including biometric data without prior written consent of parents. Under paragraph 3(1) of Schedule 1 of the Education Act 2002 the governing body of a maintained school has the legal power to do anything which appears to them to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of, or in connection with, the conduct of the school. Schools must process biometric data in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. DfES guidance recommends that schools should engage fully with parents and pupils if they decide to introduce biometric technology systems.