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Introduction of an improved catering software system

The Academy will be introducing a new catering software system, provided by CRB Cunninghams at the end of 2023/beginning of 2024.  As part of that system CRB Cunninghams offer facial recognition via a till-based system.  The aim of using such a system would be to try to increase overall efficiency and, where possible, to avoid use of lunch slips where pupils have lost their ID cards.


Skinners’ Academy therefore wishes to use information about your child as part of an automated (i.e. electronically operated) recognition system for catering purposes. The information from your child that we wish to use is referred to as ‘biometric information’.  Under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (sections 26 to 28), we are required to notify each parent of a child and obtain the written consent of at least one parent before being able to use a child’s biometric information for an automated system.


Biometric information and how it will be used

Biometric information is information about a person’s physical or behavioural characteristics that can be used to identify them.  The Academy would like to take and use information from your child’s face, as part of an automated biometric recognition system, and use this information for the purpose of providing your child with catering services. This system will take measurements of your child’s face and convert these measurements into a template to be stored on the system. An image of your child’s face is not stored. The template (i.e. measurements taken from your child’s face) is what will be used to permit your child to access services.


You should note that the law places specific requirements on schools and colleges when using personal information, such as biometric information, about pupils for the purposes of an automated biometric recognition system. For example:

  • the Academy cannot use the information for any purpose other than those for which it was originally obtained and made known to the parent (s) (i.e. as stated above)

  • the Academy must ensure that the information is stored securely

  • the Academy must tell you what it intends to do with the information

  • unless the law allows it, the Academy cannot disclose personal information to another person/body.


Providing your consent/objecting

As stated in the guidance, to be able to use your child’s biometric information, the written consent of at least one parent is required. However, consent given by one parent will be overridden if the other parent objects in writing to the use of their child’s biometric information. Under the guidance, the Academy is obliged to notify each parent to seek their consent. This information will therefore be sent by to anyone with parental responsibility for whom we have an email address, the information will be posted on our website, and a text message, flagging this letter, will be send to the first priority text contact.  If you have contact details for someone with parental responsibility for your child, and whose details we do not hold, could you please either provide us with those details, or send them this information.


If your child objects to the proposed use of their biometric information, the Academy must not collect or use that biometric information for inclusion on the automated recognition system. You can also object to the proposed processing of your child’s biometric information at a later stage or withdraw any consent you have previously given. This means that, if you give consent but later change your mind, you can withdraw this consent.


Please note that any consent, withdrawal of consent or objection from a parent must be in writing.


Even if you have consented, your child can object or refuse at any time to their biometric information being taken/used. Your child’s objection does not need to be in writing. We would appreciate it if you could discuss this with your child and explain to them that they can object to this if they wish. We will also provide information to them via their school email address.  The Academy is also happy to answer any questions you or your child may have.


If you do not wish your child’s biometric information to be processed by the Academy, or your child objects to such processing, the law says that we must provide reasonable alternative arrangements for children who are not going to use the automated system to use our catering services.  The alternative arrangements will be the use of your child’s ID card to swipe at the till (or a lunch slip, where they have lost their card).


We have produced a Frequently Asked Questions Sheet which you can also click HERE.


To indicate whether or not you consent to the processing of your child’s biometric information, or to ask any additional questions you may have, please click on the link provided to you by the Academy.  Please note that when your child leaves the school/college, or if for some other reason he/she ceases to use the biometric system, his/her biometric data will be securely deleted.


If you have any general queries regarding our catering systems, please email with the heading Catering Query.

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