Classroom CCTV is being used to target teachers

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Some schools are using CCTV cameras, not as a safety measure for pupils and staff, but to spy on teachers, a union has reported.

An NASUWT study involving around 7,500 teachers found that almost one in 10 have CCTV in their classroom, with the vast majority saying that it is constantly recording during lessons and that they cannot switch it off.

Around 55 per cent said that their headteachers viewed the footage, with 41 per cent reporting that footage has been used as evidence to form negative views about staff. 

One teacher told researchers that they had been disciplined for disturbing another colleague’s lesson after being spotted on CCTV footage visiting the classroom.

Another said: “I have seen senior staff members with my head of department looking at footage in the school office. When I asked what my head of department was doing watching a colleague in this way she said she was trying to catch him out.”

A third added: “In my last school it was routinely used to see what time teachers were in class and what they were doing. It was also used to monitor leaving times.”

The survey came ahead of a debate on the issue at the NASUWT’s annual conference in Birmingham last week and also uncovered incidents where staff CCTV has been used against staff to discuss their handling of situations and also specifically with NQTs who management consider to be under-performing.

Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, said they would consider industrial action where these practices took place: 

“In some schools, (teachers) are being subjected to permanent surveillance through CCTV cameras. Lab rats have more professional privacy. (We) will support members in resisting such practices ... through all appropriate means, including industrial action.” 


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