FACE scanners are to be trialled at a St Neots school in a world-first to register students as they arrive on site. An Infra-red recognition system is to be installed in the sixth form building at St Neots Community College this week. The technology is

IAN NARIN / ST NEOTS COMMUNITY COLLEGE

FACE scanners are to be trialled at a St Neots school in a world-first to register students as they arrive on site.

An Infra-red recognition system is to be installed in the sixth form building at St Neots Community College this week.

The technology is able to scan children's faces and can be used to help identify late-comers to school.

The pioneering technology has been produced by Northampton based biometric firm, Aurora. According to the company, the system can verify an identity in 1.5 seconds.

Paul Coase, Aurora's head of sales and marketing, said the trial at St Neots Community College would last for the whole of the academic year. He said if successful the system would stay at the school indefinitely.

The Clockface system is already used at building sites across the UK and the Middle East for attendance purposes. It is marketed at about £4,000 and has been provided to the college free of charge.

Mr Coase said: "This technology is not new it has been used across the UK and Middle East for about 10 years. But this will be the first time it has been used in a school. This is a world first. Letters were sent out to the parents of St Neots Community College students before Christmas informing them of the trial and the response has been positive."

He added that the face scanner would be trialled in the college's sixth form building and that no data would be stored during the trial.

"It would just be used as a proof of concept," said Mr Coase. "Students would walk up to the scanner, type in a pin and then be verified. The end goal would be for these scanners to be rolled out in schools across the UK to act as a reception logging students' arrival at school."

INFORMATION: Do you agree with the use of this technology in schools? E-mail your views to: editor@huntspost.co.uk or write to: Face Scanners Debate, The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon, Cambs, PE29 3TB.