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Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 22 April 2008


Tuesday 22 April 2008


Children, Schools and Families

Finger-Printing in Schools

The Humble Petition of Councillor James MacCleary and others of like disposition,


That there is significant local concern that the government has failed to ban the practice of fingerprinting children in schools, that an average of 20 educational establishments in each Local Education Authority are fingerprinting pupils, that less than one-quarter of local education authorities have banned collecting fingerprints in schools and that, although encouraged to seek consent before taking biometric data, schools currently are not obliged to seek parents’ permission before taking children’s fingerprints.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House shall urge the Department for Education and Skills to legislate in order that parental consent is required in advance of any fingerprinting of children in schools.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.—[Presented by Norman Baker, Official Report, 18 May 2007; Vol. 460, c. 877 .] [P000175]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families:

Since the date of this petition both the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) in conjunction with the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta), and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) have published guidance on the use of biometric technology in schools.

These sets of guidance are available on the respective Becta and ICO websites.