CCTV In Schools and Classrooms

CCTV has been present in our schools and classrooms from at least around 2008-2009. Whilst it is still unclear exactly how many schools currently have CCTV installations, we can be sure that the number will only rise over the coming years. CCTV in both schools and classrooms is a very emotive subject. In this article we will briefly discuss the arguments for and against (advantages and disadvantages) the use of CCTV within schools.

Advocates of placing CCTV in schools and classrooms generally point to the following arguments; safety and security (teachers, students and the schools' property are safer), that CCTV also helps build trust as well as identify poor teachers and those "disruptive" children. Deterrent; that the use of CCTV deters students, teachers and school visitors from illegal or anti-social acts.

Whilst I can understand the use of CCTV in the perimeters of a school, in order to deter/identify those who may wish to break into a school, cause damage and steal property. I do have genuine concerns about how CCTV has been deployed. For example, in 2010 a case involved cameras being installed within the children's toilets in a school in Chelmsley Wood (as a security measure). Neither the parents nor children had been informed of the use of CCTV, and the cameras appeared without any prior notice. Understandably parents were very unhappy regarding this invasion of their children's privacy.

Of course we want our children to be secure and safe within our schools. At the same time though we need to ensure that they are within a free relaxed learning environment. Schools are not prisons, and the increased use of CCTV in the classroom arguably does not produce an environment condusive for learning. There is the question of our civil liberties and the psychological impact that this can have on teachers, students and parents.

Please let me point out, that as a proponent of online learning with the use of a webcam, that this is entirely different to having a host of CCTV cameras tracking your every move within a school environment, often without your knowledge or permission. Our one-to-one lessons are specifically aimed to provide quality help, assistance and education between teacher and student, in a similar way that this could happen in a face to face environment. Moreover, both teachers and students are able to teach and learn from the comfort and safety of their respective homes at times suitable for them, without having to physically travel to meet-up in person.

There have been few studies examining the use of CCTV in schools, but the most notable survey carried out by Dr Emmeline Taylor from the University of Salford made very interesting reading. In 2009 Dr Taylor surveyed 24 comprehensive schools in the North West of England and discovered that 23 had installed more than 20 cameras. 85% of teachers have reported the use of CCTV in their schools and one-in-10 claimed that cameras had even been placed in toilets. In the name of security it was also reported that some schools were introducing other techniques such as fingerprinting, metal detectors, electronic identity cards, eye scanners and facial recognition systems. Amazingly, some of the schools are collecting images without informing teachers, pupils or parents. Dr Taylor also felt that she had found no evidence that the rise of cameras in schools was providing schools with a solution to the problems (crime, bullying, smoking, truancy) the CCTV was supposed to fix.

Dr Taylor concludes; "The effectiveness of CCTV in preventing and detecting crime remains extremely dubious, and its impact upon more trivial behaviours such as playing truant has not been measured. CCTV is often attributed with numerous benefits that often there is no evidence to suggest that it can deliver on."

So, what do you believe? Do you think CCTV should be allowed in both schools and classrooms? Do you feel that the use of CCTV is condusive to a positive open learning environment? Do you feel that "George Orwell's' 1984 was a warning and not a blueprint?" We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences whether you are a student, parent, teacher or someone who cares about this controversial topic.

We want our students and teachers to be safe and secure, but also within an environment where teachers can teach and students can grow and learn. Is there a happy balance between the two?


(8) Comments

  • Sasmita NayakSaturday, October 1, 2016

    I AGREE THAT CCTV SHOULD BE THERE BUT NOT IN TOILET BECAUSE PRIVACY SHOULD BE GIVEN TO THE CHILDREN

  • unicornnnTuesday, February 23, 2016

    I strongly agree with the above statement, but children do need their privacy at least in the toilet. tho there'll be damages and stuffs a cctv can be placed right outside of the toilet to ensure nothing bad happens.

  • Ajay Prakash DubeyThursday, November 6, 2014

    knowledge that i am being observed prevents teachers,students,school staffs for doing wrong.but installation of cctv in toilets and classrooms is not always feasible.morality based on fear is not everlasting.so morality should sprouts from deeper in heart.

  • somoneWednesday, September 24, 2014

    i AGREE w/ everything y'all said .thxxxx a bunch, ~someone over d rainbow

  • Jay-ar Yebes AngelesMonday, March 10, 2014

    I agree! CCTV camera are for detecting wrong doings. It should be installed so there will be proof to the violations of students and also the teachers.

  • Okafor C. AmbroseThursday, February 21, 2013

    Hello, I am supporting the opinion that CCTV should be installed in classrooms and within the school environment, but with special regards to toilets. Meanwhile, students and teachers should be aware of the type of environment they are in...this surely will contribute immensely to the better performance of both teachers and students,and also it will ensure a better atmosphere for learning....I am a student of Educational Managemnt.

  • administratorSaturday, December 8, 2012

    If you email us via the "Contact Us" link (at the bottom of this page), we will forward your questions to the author. Thanks.

  • Byeong-kyu MinWednesday, December 5, 2012

    Hi, i need author's full name. So, do you have to tell me the name of the author?

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