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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 September 2007, 17:13 GMT 18:13 UK
Swipe-cards to aid pupil safety
Dinner lady generic
The cards can be used to pay for school meals
Pupils on Tyneside may be issued with swipe-cards in an attempt to increase school security.

The private firm seeking to introduce the cards said they can be used to control access to buildings and to pay for school meals.

The proposal is part of a joint 176m secondary school building programme by Gateshead and South Tyneside councils.

A spokesman said the electronic system could end the need for children to carry cash on school grounds.

The two local authorities selected business consortium, Inspiredspaces, as their preferred bidder for the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme this week.

'Secure access'

Morse, a technology company, which is part of the consortium, has submitted the card system scheme as part of the bid.

Paul McCarthy, the firm's managing partner, said schools would be able to choose if they wanted to adopt the cards.

He said: "They can be used for secure access to buildings and computer systems, replacing cash payments in the canteen and pupil registration.

"Schools especially like the idea of children not having to carry cash as this helps improve the safety of pupils."

In South Tyneside the proposals include new buildings and remodelling at Mortimer, Hebburn, Harton, Jarrow, St Joseph's RC and St Wildrid's RC Schools, as well as a new building to replace King George V and Brinkburn comprehensives which will merge on one site.

In Gateshead, one proposal under consultation is for two new secondary schools to be built under the BSF programme to replace the existing Thomas Hepburn Secondary School in Felling and Heworth Grange Secondary School in Heworth.

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