Sara Mogel, ex principal of West Cheshire College. The woman who thought it was a good idea to spend over £1million of taxpayers money on RFID tags to hang round students neck to track them in real time, gets an OBE for ‘for services to vocational education‘.
I think it is fair to say her contribution to UK education and the RFID industry is certainly unique, though whether it deserves an OBE is debatable. She is responsible for the decision to hang microwave radio frequency devices around children’s necks in a ground breaking trial of ultra wideband RFID, tracking the children on campus every second. The first instance of a school in the UK using RFID technology to track individual children’s every movements… that was scrapped in February 2013 just before she left. (I wonder if the college got a £1,000,000 refund for this?)
No reporting in the local press. No communication with parents. The college had no idea of the specification of the RFID, worryingly therefore no information on the specific absorption rate (SAR) of the radio frequencies on the human body. The health effects of radio frequencies (RF) on the human body are seemingly unquantifiable at present but as more research is done on this topic it is becoming more apparent that caution should be taken and prudencey exercised to limit our bodies to RF exposure. The RFID journal themselves suggest distancing the human body 1 meter from a reader/antenna.
Let us sincerely hope that there will be no ill health effects from the students wearing RFID tags under Sara Mogel OBE’s watch at West Cheshire College and this does not come and bite her back in the future.