Students at a secondary school in South Yorkshire are being tracked by microchips sewn in their uniforms as part of a trial.
The radio frequency identification system monitors pupils’ movements, and automatically logs their attendance on the teacher’s computer. It can also alert teachers if a student is likely to misbehave.
The trial involves 10 students in whose uniforms this chip was embedded about eight months ago.
Being used at Hungerhill School in Doncaster presently, the chip connects with teachers’ computers to show a photograph of the students, data about their academic performance, and whether they are in the correct classroom. It can also restrict access to areas of the school.
However, the new approach of tracking students’ movement has drawn criticism from human rights campaigners.
“Tagging is what we do to criminals we let out of prison early. It is appalling,” Timesonline quoted David Cleater from Leave Them Kids Alone, which campaigns against the finger-printing of pupils, as saying.
On the other hand, the school’s head teacher, Graham Wakeling, has denied that they were adapting a “Big Brother” mentality.
“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.
He claimed that the children in the trial were the volunteers who are participating in it as a science project.
A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said it intended electronic registration to log attendance on a schools database, not “logging every detail of every pupil via covert means”.