Truants caught in text-message hell

Teachers tip off parents via mobiles

Teachers at a London primary school have started using Internet-enabled mobile phones to try and catch kids who are playing truant.

The "Citizen One" system lets teachers hook up their mobile to the Net before they take the morning's registration.

If a child is absent, it automatically sends an email or text message informing the parent - so they know immediately if their nipper is off shoplifting around the local shopping centre instead of sitting through double maths.

The system, currently being trailed at Millfields Community School in Hackney, was developed by a company called MaviCom. BT is also involved, via its BTwireless outfit.

Citizen One can also be used for group messaging, such as information on when homework is due or details of teacher-parent meetings. ®

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