SCHOOLS in England will be banned from collecting pupils’ biometric data without consent, the Department for Education (DfE) said.

From September next year schools will be forced to obtain parental permission before taking fingerprints.

The ban will also cover the use of data for iris and retina scanning, and face recognition.

According to the DfE approximately 30 per cent of secondary schools and five per cent of primary schools use fingerprinting or face-scanning systems for a number of reasons, including recording attendance, allowing pupils to check out library books, pay for lunch or access certain school buildings.

Schools Minister David Laws said: “Many parents do not want schools and colleges collecting personal information from their children without permission.

“These tough new rules will mean that, for the first time, parents will have the power to stop schools from using their child's biometric data unless they agree first.”