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Read the following article. What do you think:
  • Would you be happy for CCTV in the toilets at school?
  • Would it make you feel safer?
  • Would it feel like an invasion of privacy?
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Heads defend CCTV in school toilets


September 14, 2012

Heads at two schools in the Reading area named this week in a CCTV ‘shame’ list have been quick to defend their pupil safety measures.


The Big Brother Watch group, following a Freedom of Information inquiry, issued the names of 207 schools across the country using cameras in toilets or changing rooms.

Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch group, said: “This research raises serious questions about the privacy of schoolchildren across Britain.”

Mike Boys, assistant head at Denefield in Tilehurst, said: “Historically, there have been two [CCTV cameras] in toilets that are not in the main building and the cameras are focused on the sink areas – the toilets are in a courtyard, between two main buildings. The cameras have been there many years and used always for security and safety, to enable students full security when going into the toilets from an anti-bullying perspective.”

Mr Boys explained cameras are no longer needed in the school’s other toilets, because doors with viewing panels have been fitted during refurbishment, and all the toilets have now been refurbished except one. The panels (in the main doors, not cubicles) allow for “discreet supervision” as staff walk by to ensure no-one is congregating in there.

Mr Boys said: “When I take parents around the school, I make an absolute point of taking parents into the toilets, showing them the viewing panels and I have never had a parent saying anything but positive things – it’s ensuring the safety of their child.

“The two remaining cameras are working and focused on the sink areas. There are none in changing rooms.”

The other school named was Theale Green Community School.

Head Sue Marshall said: “We have cameras in our toilets, they are directed at doors and washbasins. They have been there more than 10 years and are used to monitor any problems that are in there, due to bullying or vandalism.

“We do not view [footage] as a matter of course, but just refer to it if there is a problem. The cameras are there to support the safety of the students.”

 

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