Wednesday Sep 12, 201210:24 AM GMT
pupils under CCTV watch even in toilets
Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:20AM
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Schools need to come clean about why they are using these cameras and what is happening to the footage."

Big Brother Watch director Nick Pickles

British schools are keeping their students under watch by an estimated 100,000 spy cameras installed in playgrounds, classrooms and even toilets and changing rooms.


Figures obtained by anti-surveillance campaigners Big Brother Watch from more than 2,000 schools show 207 are using CCTV cameras in bathrooms and changing rooms.

The group found that a total 47,806 cameras are watching puypils in 2,107 secondary schools and academies that is an average of one surveillance camera for every 38 students.

Big Brother Watch said they estimate the number of CCTV cameras used in secondary schools and academies across England, Wales and Scotland is as high as 106,710.

"The full extent of school surveillance is far higher than we had expected and will come as a shock to many parents,” the group’s director Nick Pickles said.

"Schools need to come clean about why they are using these cameras and what is happening to the footage,” he added.

The findings show secondary schools have an average 24 and academies an average 30 CCTVs.

The group also warned that there needs to be clear explanation on what the cameras are used to monitor and who is authorized to see the footage especially seeing that the issue can trigger parents’ outrage as many of the CCTVs are installed in toilets and changing rooms

The revelation has also been blasted by GMB union whose national officer Sharon Holder said the union is appalled at the findings.

"Placing CCTV in school bathrooms poses a worrying development in school policy and raises a number of questions. How many parents have given head teachers permission to film their child going to the toilet or having a shower? What happens to the film afterwards?” Holder said.

She further urged schools to make clear what problems they are “trying to solve.”

AMR/HE
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