Why go for Biometric Systems in Schools?

Why go for biometric systems in schools?
By Jocelyn Levy | 2nd November 2020 | 8 min read

Biometric systems in schools are not too uncommon. We’ve been delivering such solutions to schools since 2005, in fact. But what is it about biometric solutions that appeal in a school environment and how can schools implement them?

Register attendance securely with biometric systems in schools

First and foremost, biometric systems in schools can be a really effective way of registering attendance for students. It’s unlikely you would use the solution for attendance in a primary school, but in secondary schools, colleges and universities, biometrics can prove invaluable.

Whether schools just use them to register attendance at the start of the day, or for individual lessons, biometrics are an authenticator that are incredibly easy for students to use. They simply have to scan their fingerprint on a sensor as they enter a classroom.

It’s a form of authentication they can’t lose or forget. Unlike passwords or smartcards, students also can’t share them with their friends. Overall, this makes it a strong secure and fast approach to attendance registering.

It can also be a fantastic way of monitoring 6th form or college students, who have a more flexible schedule. If they sign in and out of school with a biometric, schools always have a live picture of who is on site and who isn’t – essential in the case of an emergency.

Improve inclusivity with biometric systems in schools for catering

Registering attendance is the most obvious benefit of biometric systems in schools, but here at FasTrak, one of our favourite benefits is the difference it can make to catering solutions. When catering is cashless and instead paid for with a biometric scan, you can bring a host of advantages to catering in a school.

First and foremost, it makes catering fun, attractive and fast for students, which in turn boosts usage numbers. This is great for everybody involved: students get the food they need to concentrate in class and schools run a more profitable and efficient catering service.

Perhaps more importantly, a biometric and cashless approach to catering can help improve inclusivity and get school meals in front of students who are most in need of the nutrition. Unfortunately, many students who are entitled to free school meals do not actually use the benefit. The social stigma of receiving free school meals leads many students and parents to avoid claiming it, as it singles the child out as ‘poor’ during catering times. Children don’t want to be the only one not paying for a meal while all their friends hand over cash.

That’s where a cashless biometric system comes in. When there's no cash, payment is hidden in the background. Whether your parent or the state has paid for the meal, when biometric authentication is involved, it’s impossible to know. The removal of this stigma can be of great value to schools and parents, and help students who really need free school meals actually get it.

You can read more about solutions to free school meal stigma and other common canteen problems here.

Go the extra mile

Attendance and cashless catering are the two most popular biometric solutions we offer schools here at FasTrak – but that really is just the start of what biometrics can deliver. Schools who really buy in to biometrics can deliver a seamless and unified school experience. The same biometric could be used to quickly and securely log on to computers, activate pull-me printing, borrow library books or even access lockers.

Biometric systems in schools can do all these things, but most importantly, when done properly, they can do it in an incredibly secure way while also ensuring privacy. Find out more why so many schools are using biometric solutions by visiting the IRIS FasTrak website.