Biometric Fingerprint Consent

Three Year 7 students are pictured looking closely at a model of our solar system and pointing to it during a Science lab class.

Dear Parents/Carers,

Further to my letter sent last week regarding a change to our cashless payment system, if you have already given permission for the Academy to use your child’s biometric information, you do not need to complete the Google Form. If however, you would like to withdraw consent then, please submit the form.

A reminder that we will start using our new system from Module 2 and we will therefore be uploading your child’s fingerprint from this week.

Many thanks to those parents who have already submitted their consent; should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact

Kind Regards,

Ben Russell

What is a Cashless System?

A cashless system allows for parents to top up a catering account online or via a PayPoint location. This allows for quicker serving times and shorter queues. The system recognises each individual student, holds their individual account balances, and records money spent and received. It records where money is spent, on what food, and on any specific date, at any time of day.

How are students recognised by the system?

The biometric recognition system works by looking at skin patterns on the finger or thumb. During the enrolment process the software captures a digital signature of the student’s fingertip or thumb – these images are broken down into data points, similar to reference points on a map. The system then turns these into an alphanumeric string and the images are discarded. The alphanumeric string is then encrypted and stored on a secure server. As only an alphanumeric string is stored, the system is safe and secure and the data is of no use to anyone except for the purposes for which the system is designed.

Each student will create a finger biometric. A scan of the finger is taken and a template created (a string of encrypted numbers based off the finger scan). The rest of the finger image is discarded which makes reverse engineering the fingerprint from the data stored impossible. Students will then be able to use their finger biometric to identify on the system and authenticate any purchase.

How is a finger biometric used to obtain a school meal?

The student simply places their finger on the Biometric reader at the point of sale. A display will show the server the student’s name and current account balance held within the system. The selected food items will be entered into the system from an itemised keyboard, while the amount spent and the new account balance will show on the display.

How is money entered into the system?

Online payments allow a Parent/Guardian to ‘log-on’ to a web portal, ParentPay, using a secure username and password, and ‘top-up’ their child’s account using debit and/or credit card payments.

How does a student check what their current balance is?

The online web portal, ParentPay, used to make payments can also be used to check the current balance of a catering account. The customer display at the point of sale will also show the new account balance when the food service is finished.

Data Handling

Certain data will be held on the system to enable accurate operation. This will include your child’s name, class, photo, account balance and meal entitlement. This data will be handled under the guidelines of the data protection act and only used by parties directly involved with the implementation of the system.