Yeah, when you have several hundred children who are on free school meals, and more which pay for their meals. How do you determine who is entitled to a meal? Our dinner staff are not up to the job of memorising the names of several hundred names... Things have changed in 40-odd-years, you have to accept that. Parents demand information from the school about what their kids have been spending their lunch money on...
Originally Posted by Martin
Well, my guess would be due to the fact that schools have a huge amount of bureaucracy to deal with daily. Be it in libraries, canteens, or the school offices where kids are handing cheques and things in. ANY organisation would be looking at ways to become more efficient. The simple fact is, whether you think it is or not, we have always been 'numbers'. There's no efficient way to run a 20th (and now 21st) century country without reducing people to numbers.
Why have cards either? How about giving a child some respect and individual identity - not just treating them as a number?
Ok, put it this way. When you park your car, do you leave your laptop in full view on the front seat? Do you leave your GPS stuck to the screen? No? Why not? I'm guessing it is because it provides a target for opportunistic criminals. Extend that same concept to bullies and lunch money. Remove the opportunity, and you reduce the crime.
But "bullying" is a bigger problem than stopping someone pinching Johnny's dinner money - he can still get jumped on and have his sweets pinched, or his nice new pencil set broken or whatever. Finger-print scanners won't stop bullying!
Having been dragged into the 'state' machine via an activist life back in uni, leading to lots of police contact and the like, I can safely say that it simply isn't true.
They have no choice but to do what they are told - the (state) machine says it, so you must do it. No room for negotiation, no room for discussion, no human interaction :(
In the scheme of things, the money involved in such systems is actually quite small. Also, the UK is a capitalist country, and as such encouraging business is one of the jobs of the government. If they do this via the public sector then that's fine with me. By getting companies making money, they pay more taxes, they hire more staff, they invest more in R&D. So, I don't see it as a huge issue.
I am very surprised that you haven't sussed this one out - you are normally pretty sharp on these kinds of things? Certain companies are going to make a very lot of money out of this - and we are talking tens if not hundreds of millions of pounds. And once they get state approval (from ministers who may end up in non-exec positions in said companies), making this money is like, er, taking candy from a baby ;)
Vericool is a UK company, therefore THEY have to follow UK DP laws, regardless of what company owns them. Also, money going out of the country isn't some sinister thing. We have UK company headquarters here, with subsidiaries all around the world who do the same thing. Irrelevant really.
Take a look at VeriCool
- it seems very, er, cool - but nowhere on the website does it mention that it is a subsidiary of General Dynamics
- a US company who may not have to abide by the same data protection laws as we have in the UK! Even if they do, a fair chunk of the money spent buying their products will end up on the lefthand side of the Atlantic.
The reporting is for the parents, not for the government. We had parents asking what their child had been spending their dinner money on before the reporting stuff appeared. Since having a computerised cashless catering system installed, we have identified a few kids who try to use their lunch money to buy biscuits and the like during break instead of having a proper lunch. It has also allowed us to see a couple of children who simply weren't eating lunch due to various reasons.
Ah, we are back to #4 here with "parental reporting on what children eat in schools" - more micro-management and snooping on the intricacies of our private lives by the (thankfully) outgoing administration. And all at a huge cost - not just the basic system, but all the bits around it (including IT support etc.).
A custom built system designed and written by myself.
Out of interest, what system do you have installed and what are its costs (both capital and on-going)?
My eyes are open, I'm just not going to buy into scaremongering without proper evidence or overuse of slippery slope or straw-man arguments.
Some people must be walking around with their eyes shut (i suppose that it feels safer that way)?
A 21st century society with 21st century crimes and problems obviously needs different rules and tools for policing than one set in the 70s. Sure, some of the laws enacted recently are ridiculous (rules restricting photography of police is a fine example, the digital Britain nonsense is another) but to constantly state that all this government tracking is bad is a little short sighted.
For many years now we have been slowly conditioned to accept what we previously would have found totally unacceptable. Pubs are being "asked" to request ID from anyone who looks under 25 years old at the same time as (state) ID cards are being promoted as they easy way to prove your age. Our houses are being inspected by "the state" when we sell them to check how many CFLs we have fitted and how big our garden is. Our vehicle movements are being tracked continuously and the data held for years
You really think the Conservatives will do anything but increase tracking? My guess is simply that they will reduce transparency...
Let us hope that the new ConLib agreement on Civil Liberties (see Now I'm happy..
) will reverse some of these measures and at the same time simplify (and reduce the costs for) our lives!