CCTV used to 'spy' on teachers, union warns

5th April 2015 at 01:00

Teachers are increasingly concerned about the use of CCTV and video equipment to “spy on” their lessons, a teaching union has warned.

A survey of 1,476 teachers by the NASUWT union found that 8 per cent had CCTV in their classroom.

Of those teachers that had CCTV, 87 per cent said they could not switch it off and 84 per cent said it was constantly recording.

Sixty-three per cent of those that had CCTV said it was introduced “because of pupil safety” and 52 per cent said it was for staff safety. Seven per cent said it was to monitor teacher performance.

The NASUWT has described the use of CCTV to monitor teachers as “professionally demeaning”. 

One respondent to the survey said evidence from CCTV had been used against them after they restrained a student who had assaulted them.

Another said a private conversation in the staff pigeon-hole room had been recorded, after which a member of staff was “hauled in front of the head teacher” about the conversation.

Chris Keates, the union’s general secretary, said: “Which other professionals go to work knowing that day-in and day-out their every move doing their job is being filmed, not for their safety and protection, but to catch them out?”

Meanwhile, a separate survey by the union has found almost one in four teachers had personally brought in food for hungry pupils. Fifty-six per cent said their school had given food to pupils and 69 per cent said they had seen pupils coming to school hungry.

Some 32 per cent said they had taught pupils who were living in temporary accommodation such as B&Bs and hostels.

One respondent to the survey said: “We are in a leafy rural area and still have children whose families depend on food banks. Changes to benefits have had a major effect on local families and a direct impact on children’s ability to access education.”

 

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