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On Thursday 25th November 2010 the BBC  Radio Ulster http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00vm6w7 carried a story on the fingerprinting of children at school. Stephen Nolan, the host of what he constantly describes as the “Biggest Show in the Country” in Northern Ireland  also broadcasts throughout the U.K. with his Radio Five Live Show. Nolan played his part in expressing his version of  “shock and horror” over the collection of biometric data on children. It is a  poor reflection on the Nolan Show that previous coverage of this issue was ignored.http://stopfingerprintingschoolchildren.blogspot.com/

   http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0070jd4

A concerned parent contacted the Nolan Show about concerns over the introduction of a cashless biometric system at his child’s school, Banbridge Academy. The man expressed concerns over the lack of informed consent sought by tyhe school and fears over how the data may be stored and shared. He mentioned to Nolan that he had spent  four days researching the subject after he received a letter from the school telling him the system would be installed.

The letter sent by Banbridge Academy to parents on behalf of the Southern Education and Library Board BanAcadFP revealed the extent of predetermination and lack of consultation on the matter. It is regretable that the school’s  Board of Governors choose to make themselves scapegoats on the Nolan Show for the actions of the SELB.

The four day gap between the letter and installation is shown here.

“I don’t believe children should be fingerprinted”

“Parents can opt out”

“Parents and children have rights”

” I’m not going to bring my children into this”

“Children have rights”

 

Stephen Nolan had the opportunity to question the Education Minister about the introduction of the biometric system at Banbridge Academy, a SELB-controlled school . When asked about the decision to introduce the system she clearly put the focus on the grammar school’s Board of Governors saying;

“That question should be put to the Board of Governors”

 

 As the letter from the school clearly states the decision to impose the biometric data gathering sysytem was one of the SELB. The Minister is either deliberately attempting to undermine the grammar school as part of her relentless but ineffective ideological campaign or she simply doesn’t know what is going on in her Department’s name.

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