Biometric systems have been in UK schools since 1999. From 1999 UK schools have used fingerprint, iris, infra-red palm scans and facial recognition biometrics systems.

The biometric fingerprint system is the only technology now in use, after the other systems did not fit the purpose needed in schools.

Biometric fingerprint technology is used for access to canteen, library, registration, locker and payment systems.

Consent, from parents and students, is needed by schools to process children’s biometric data under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 that was enacted September 2013. Please click the UK Consent tab for more details.


In 2010 the biometrics company Aurora claimed to have biometric facial recognition systems in schools across Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. One of the schools, Sir Christopher Hatton school (now academy), trialled the technology.

The technology was scrapped in the school after a couple of terms as it was not fit for purpose.

It is unknown how many other schools had facial recognition systems in but it is thought that there are no facial recognition systems operating in UK schools.