A "world-beating" biometric scanner system which was intended to remove the stigma of claiming free school meals has been removed from a school in Sunderland - after failing to deliver on its cutting-edge promise.
The Venerable Bede Church of England School in Ryhope deployed the CRB Solutions' kit in its canteen as a way of identifying pupils anonymously by cross-referencing their retinas with a database. Apparently, this spared kids entitled to free grub from ridicule and lambastation at the hands of their peers.
Sadly, instead of the promised 12 pupils per minute, the system managed to process a mere five. The resulting logjam meant that the youngsters' tasty meals went cold while the slow-witted computer battled to keep up.
School head Dr Ed Yeates told the BBC that he "hoped to bring the system back in six to eight months after 'teething problems' had been ironed out". He added: "The system was world-beating, but too slow and was only working at 50 per cent of its capacity."
We can only assume that Dr Yeates here uses the phrase "world-beating" in the same way that Paula Radcliffe and the Sinclair C5 could be described as "world-beating". We hope that the school's English department has a more precise grasp on the language.
We also hope that CRB Solutions can tackle its sluggish world-beater before those kids from impoverished households forced to beg publicly for spotted dick and custard are reduced to nervous wrecks by fellow pupils' cruel taunts. ®