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UK Schools or the next Bond movie?

Students register delight at new face-fit check-in

HIGH-TECH facial recognition technology has swept aside the old-fashioned signing of the register at a school.

Sixth-formers will now have their faces scanned as they arrive in the morning at the City of Ely Community College.

It is one of the first schools in the UK to trial the new technology with its students.

Face Register uses the latest high-tech gadgets to register students in and out of school in just 1.5 seconds.

The technology works by scanning faces with an infra-red light and matching their image with key facial features stored on a secure system.

Not only a hit with the students, who enjoy signing themselves in, the system is saving a member of staff about an hour and a half each day in recording data.

Principal Richard Barker said: "With this new registration technology, we are hoping to free up our teachers' time and allow them to spend it on what they are meant to be doing, which is teaching.

"As for the students, they love the idea of taking responsibility for their own registration and using Mission Impossible-style systems."

Hugh Carr-Archer, chief executive of Aurora, the company behind the system, said Face Register is aimed at reducing administrative duties and easing the burden on teaching staff.

St Neots Community College pioneered the system in Cambridgeshire in January.

Scott Preston, vice-chairman, said: "The system is working really well - sixth-formers and staff are pleased with the efficiency of it.

"Only today (Thursday, 05 March) we had a fire alarm test and the administration staff were able to quickly and effectively print data off from the system showing who was on site.

"We feel that with the technology, we are on top of health and safety."

For more information about the new technology, which will be available nationwide in April, visit www.facerec.co.uk

Day, Jordan. "Students register delight at new face-fit check-in." Cambridge News Home. 05 Mar. 2009. 06 Mar. 2009 <http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/cn_news_home/displayarticle.asp?id=396794>.