Schools to introduce ID cards for pupils

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The Independent Online
TWO secondary schools are to issue identity cards next term in an attempt to ensure their pupils' safety at school, writes Fran Abrams.

The north London comprehensives are believed to be the first in the country to do so, though others have introduced other measures such as fences and 24- hour surveillance in recent months. New emphasis has been placed on security after 12-year-old Nikki Conroy was stabbed by an intruder at Hall Garth school in Middlesbrough in March. Parents of pupils at Hampstead School have been asked to supply photos of their children for the ID cards. Acland Burgley, also in Camden, will introduce a similar scheme next term.

Staff at Hampstead say there has been no negative response to a letter explaining the proposal to parents, and that the card will also be used to pay for school meals. An additional advantage will be in future that those receiving free meals can do so without others knowing. Andy Knowles, the deputy head, said: 'This is simply an attempt to guarantee pupils' safety. We are a large comprehensive and we don't have a uniform so identification of students can sometime be a problem.'

David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said he did not know of any other such schemes but he believed others would follow and added the idea of ID cards for pupils was 'well worth pursuing'.

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