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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 October 2006, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Bio scanners check pupils' meals
Pupil using a biometric scanner
More than 1,300 pupils have school meals every day
A school in West Yorkshire is using biometric scanners to allow parents to check if their children are choosing healthy options at lunchtime.

Pupils at Ossett School in Wakefield place their index finger on the scanner as they arrive at the canteen.

The scanner reading tells school staff how much each child can spend on their meal and records what food they choose.

Head teacher Martin Shevill said the system allowed parents and staff to check children were eating properly.

Mr Shevill said the biometric scanners had been used in school libraries for some time but Ossett was one of only a handful of schools to introduce the system in the canteen.

'Efficient and quick'

He said: "We have got over 1,700 students in the school at the moment, and over 1,300 have school lunches each day.

"That is a lot of people to process, so clearly we want an efficient and quick system that will pass people through our three dining halls as effectively as possible."

The head teacher said another advantage of the system was there was no differentiation between pupils who paid for their meals and those entitled to free school dinners.

It also allowed parents to keep an eye on what their children were eating.

He said: "If we or a parent are suspicious that a student isn't eating properly then it is quite possible to get a printout of that day, or that week, or that fortnight.

"Then we will be able to see, and ensure the parents, that they have been eating healthy vegetables and plenty of fresh fruit."

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