New technology helps pupils keep their cool as schools reopen

A PRIMARY school in Oldham is using an innovative thermal access control system to protect pupils and reduce the risk of transmitting Covid-19 as they return for the new school year.

The installation at Farrowdale House School is believed to be the first of its kind and comes as pupils nationwide return to classrooms amid growing concerns over increased infection rates.

Pupils arriving at Farrowdale House School are greeted at the front door and, before entering a room with other children, are asked to look at themselves on a screen where a heat sensing camera is able to accurately detect their temperature within +0.3°C in just 0.2 of a second.

The deep-learning technology, developed by British technology company Videcon, takes measurements from two points in the face to accurately assess core body temperature so teachers can quickly and easily check if a child has a higher temperature than normal, an early warning sign for someone who might be infected with Covid-19.

Headteacher Ms Zoe Campbell said: “We want to protect not just our children but teachers and parents as well.

“We had heard about temperature detecting technology being used in airports and public spaces, but these products are hugely expensive and are simply unaffordable.

“By a stroke of luck, the parent of one of our past pupils is the founder of Videcon who specialise in this sort of technology.

“We approached the company and were told they had just launched Thermi-Scan, a facial recognition, mask detection and temperature sensing product aimed at helping small business in the post Covid-19 era.

“We immediately recognised that Thermi-scan could be used in our school. We don’t currently use the facial detection or mask wearing functions at present because we have no need for them, but the contactless temperature detection feature has been very reassuring for everyone.”

Thermi-Scan has been installed across the UK in a range of premises including businesses, schools, restaurants and care homes to keep staff, customers, students and residents safe, as the UK government continues to encourage businesses to return to normal.

Videcon’s Managing Director Matt Rushall said: “We know how important it is to keep pupils, teachers and parents safe and we’re thrilled to see Farrowdale House School embracing the technology in this way.”

Videcon is a British leading developer, designer, and provider of safety and security solutions for businesses across the UK.

Trading successfully since 1995, its expertise encompasses security services from CCTV, fire intruder, door entry, access control and security associated products to bespoke security solutions, tailored training sessions, and excellent UK-based after-care.

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