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Schoolkid chipping trial 'a success'

A big brother for every pupil

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A school in Doncaster is piloting a monitoring system designed to keep tabs on pupils by tracking radio chips in their uniforms.

According to the Doncaster Free Press, Hungerhill School is testing RFID tracking and data collection on 10 pupils within the school. It's been developed by local company Darnbro Ltd, which says it is ready to launch the product into the £300m school uniform market.

Boss Trevor Darnborough said: "The Department for Education and Skills is keen to promote use of electronic registration in schools because of its benefits in efficiently monitoring pupils' attendance and the speedy retrieval and analysis of data.

"The system saves valuable lesson time, often wasted in registration and monitoring, while ensuring parents of their children's security. And there's the additional benefit of reduced costs in replacing school uniforms that have gone astray." The Hungerhill trial has been "successful", he added.

Darnbro isn't the only firm with sights set on high-tech blazers. In August Lancashire-based Trutex, "Britain's favourite schoolwear supplier", announced its own plans to chip schoolchildren.

David Clouter, founder of anti-fingerprinting group "Leave them kids alone", said: "To put this in a school badge is complete and utter surveillance of the children. Tagging is what we do to criminals we let out of prison early."

Hungerhill headteacher Graham Wakeling said the pilot was "not intrusive to the pupil in the slightest."

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