back to article Regulator warns on school CCTV schemes

The Information Commissioner's Office has reiterated common sense advice for schools wishing to use CCTV to monitor kids. This follows a major row at a Salford school last week. Two new security cameras were installed over the holidays which were filming children getting changed for PE lessons. Unsurprisingly the parents were …

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FAIL

Cameras swiched off eh?

and josy how long is it before they are switched on again all in the cause of Health & Safety?

Sod 'Think of the Children'. Pretty well anything can be done in the guise of H&S (Hinder & Stop) these days.

CCTV where kids get changed? Fail for obcious reasons.

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WTF?

my old PE teacher

would have loved that. a cctv feed to a hard drive system that records them getting changed..

But then there were Very Dark mutterings about some of the things he did.

'the kids get changed in the classroom' and this isn't causing the parents to protest? perspective fail..

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Anonymous Coward

"...required by law to adhere to the Principles of the Data Protection Act"

...which presumably specifies under exactly which circumstances you should let a back door trojan grab the data off the PC directly, leave the laptop on the train, accidentally sell the hard drive on eBay, or upload the files to Usenet.

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WTF?

Hang on...

So the school admits to deliberately and knowingly making indecent images of children, but the police decided not to take any action?

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Stop

CCTV In schools

My 17y/o daughter reports that the WC facilities in her school are unisex, open plan, and covered by CCTV... I wonder if the local police should be informed?

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WTF?

Seriously

So no-one, throughout the whole decision process, then the installation process, thought "some parents might possibly object to a [presumably] poorly-controlled group of people having access to footage of a childrens' changing room".

Jee-sus H Ker-iced. <shakes head>

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Alert

Aah oops!

Never mind there is no practical reason to have such cameras (except nefarious ones) surely someone in authority must have known the obvious outcome of this would be negative in the extreme. I think Schools in general must be run by complete idiots these days. Was it always this bad or was I just too wrapped up myself to notice.

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WTF?

For Security. Who's Security?

I just watching this film to check on he security of these children.

Aren't we supposed to be able trust the teachers. Or are these carmera's because we can't trust anybody.

Or is it to protect the teachers against assault by pupils.

When did the X-files mantra beciame adopted in the UK as policy

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FAIL

Paedophiles

Aww, what a shame Ian Huntley wasn't around long enough to make good use of these cameras.

Or any of the women teachers the Daily Mail is always reporting for having affairs with male (and occasionally female) pupils.

Mind you, tell the same people who install CCTV cameras to film your children's private parts that there's a female pensioner taking photos of leaves on top of a deserted public swimming pool that children have been known to swim in and they'll be on the Batphone quicker than you can holler 'Stop! Paedophile!'

Why is there no icon for "Won't someone think of the children?!"

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 15:17

Images of people getting changed are not "indecent".

And since these are primary-school children and, presumably, supervised, I think it's rather unlikely they engage in much sexual activity for the camera, whatever you might like to think.

Yes, it does seem to be an invasion of privacy, of course.

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Joke

Don't forget

All staff who have access to the images are CRB checked do there is nothing to worry about

(Joke Icon, just in case some Knob end thinks I am not joking!)

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Anonymous Coward

i can

think of numerous reasons for recording what the little sh*ts get up to every second they are on school premeses. Knowing a teacher who was charged with assault for physically stopping one child hitting another with a brick.

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Headmaster

Joke

A stand up comic at a club recently did a joke -

"I'm amazed at all this hysteria about peadophiles these days - the need for surveillance everywhere, CRB checks, ISA checks, the possibility that everyone should be viewed with suspicion as a potential child abuser...

When I grew up and went to school in this country we didn't need these checks or all this snooping - everyone knew where the peadophile was - IN THE PE DEPARTMENT! "

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Anonymous Coward

Mind wipe

Does this mean that the teachers, staff and visiting MPs, who are in the class as the children change have to get their minds wiped of the things they've seen before leaving school?

Well the MPs wouldn't need to have their minds wiped (as there is nothing to wipe), they are totally above suspicion as they don't need CRB checks and besides they'd never commit any crimes, well other than expenses fraud, illegal invasions of other countries, getting back handers for making people peers and such like.

Oh and btw, there are practical reasons for filming children (not goats) in class. To monitor behaviour and maybe get evidence of bullying, vandalism and all those other lovely things they get up to. And it monitors the staff so they can be assessed without having chance to prepare themselves, like they get when Ofsted come a calling.

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Re: Paedophiles

"Why is there no icon for "Won't someone think of the children?!""

I second your call for a Gary Glitter icon.

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@Seriously

These aren't in the changing room.

Like most primary schools they don't have a changing room they get changed in the classroom, which means they also don't have showers, so it means kids changing their trousers for shorts.

The cameras are in the classrooms to protect the teachers form accusations that they hit/touched/talked to the kids. If I worked in schools (and was male) I would want permanent CCTV coverage of me, there isn't CCTV in every classroom which is one of the reasons there are no male primary school teachers.

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Badgers

Cameras causing problems?

Wait a second here. "The primary school has switched off the two cameras which caused the problems."

Guys, it is *not* the cameras that are causing problems. It is stupid, surveillance-obsessed big-brother school administrators that believe in CYA security who are causing the problems.

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Joke

@ican ( how are the new internet domains doing )

@ican

as these were only primary school kids, are you sure it wasn't only a half charlie ( half brick ) and not a full one?

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Anonymous Coward

@Joke, @my old PE teacher

I remember at school our PE teacher regularly showering with us. At the time we thought it was weird. Nowadays, he'd be locked up (or stoned by the Daily Fail readers)

A/C - In case it was all innocent (I may have disliked him, but I wouldn't want the tabloids on his back)

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Huh?

"Like most primary schools they don't have a changing room" what? I don't know where you live but I have never seen a primary school without a changing room.

And your justification for CCTV in the classroom is very disturbing. There are *plenty* of male primary school teachers - I know several - and they wouldn't accept CCTV in classrooms either.

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Headmaster

@AC 16.21

Absolutely, in my secondary school, my (male) PE teacher had a reputation for wanting a quick word with the female PE teachers, by strolling through the girls' changing room when said girls were changing or coming out of the showers. How on earth he never got busted is beyond me.

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Anonymous Coward

Parliament

Kids, they're a threat to society, so they need to be watched at all times.... See who knows what they might get up to, if they're not oppressed and monitored every second of the day!

It show we care that we stick CCTV in changing rooms, what if the kid has bruises? And the teacher doesn't notice? What if one boy gets an erection in the shower while lustfully eyeing up his fellow schoolboys. Pervert! What if some sort of towel play happens... we must protect the victims.

It's for your own safety.

Yours,

Every single Labour Home Secretary since Blind Blunkett.

Nulabour, we're the disease eating away at society so you don't have to! Vote Labour, the party you can trust.... not to trust you!

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Stop

As bad as taxes.

Cameras are the easy answer to any given problem for any given authority, in the same way that taxes are the answer to any given problem for the government.

Any authority will take the easy route to tackle any given problem symptom rather than the cause (Film bullies in changing rooms, instead of tackling the problem properly)...

Just like the problem of Taxes in the UK, the problem with the over proliferation of CCTV needs to be addressed in a very urgent and real manner.

Mike.

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Anonymous Coward

Couldn't they just

have a blind spot for the camera where people can get changed? Or an "off" swtich, and free access to the raw video for parents and pupils so they can be sure that the videos are being turned on and off as required by law?

I'm with Martin6- with all the hysteria about paedophiles at the moment if I was a teacher I'd want 100% camera coverage 100% of the time to make sure I was able to defend myself from accusations- and to ensure that any actually dodgy staff were dealt with accordingly.

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Local MP's view would be interesting

I'd love to know what the local MP, the ever delightful Hazel Blears, has to say about this. After all it was on her watch that a lot of the moronic 'but who'll think of the children?' legislation was passed.

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Anonymous Coward

@Joke, @my old PE teacher

My secondary school music teacher used to have a dubious line he used as a threat; "you know what I do to little boys in my back room", meaning the small store room attached to the classroom. We didn't, but rumours were rife, and given his demeanour, not entirely unbelievable.

Amazing how 30 years can suddenly look like a thousand when you account for changed attitudes.

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@Couldn't they just

I worked in higher education (over 18s only)

We got nice fancy new office doors fitted.

For fire regs they are self closing.

We also got told not to be in a room with a student with the door closed.

So every fire extinguisher in the building is now used to prop open office doors.

Fortunately I worked in a lab with enough warning signs on the door that only the desperate an weird ever made it that far.

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School eh?

I remember that.

The swearing..

The beatings..

The groping..

And that was just from the Teachers!

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FAIL

It's all madness

Yup, paedophile hysteria is certainly getting out of control and I have no doubt that it's damaging the lives of kids all over the country. How many of us have seen very young kids wondering around on their own but have not dared approach them for fear of being branded as a potential kiddy snatcher or molester? Gone are the days when you could hope that if your child ever got into difficulty they could be helped by a stranger. A few years ago I helped a lad who got himself stuck up a tree; given the current mindset that every man is a pervert I'm not so sure whether I'd do it again, or pass the task onto the Fire Brigade and waste their time and resources instead. Even then I'd probably still fall under suspicion by some people.

In regards to the CCTV, my view is simple; if you feel you need to monitor the classroom, then there's something seriously wrong with the way the school is being run. Security shouldn't have to cover anything more than entrances and *possibly* open areas like the car park. Either there's a serious problem with disruption in the classroom or the Head Master is paranoid (or perverted).

The very fact that the school LIED and said the cameras where turned off shows that administration cannot be trusted.

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Big Brother

"It is a breach of their privacy."

Oh, you didn't hear?

We're the last generation who will even know what privacy is.

Once these kids have been filmed and fingerprinted and profiled seven ways from sunday. Brainwashed that they're nobody if all their data isn't on Facebook or Myspace and guilt tripped half to death that everything they do every minute of the day is using CARBON (holy crap no, anything but carbon) they'll beg to be enslaved. They'd be hopelessly lost if they ever found out what freedom was.

In their eyes privacy will just be a tool used by paedophiles and terrorists, like fake passports. It will have no meaning outside of that rigidly defined context.

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Headmaster

ooh, kids today

Poor kids, imagine being described as angelic innocents to be protected, and simultaneously as dirty feral chavs to be punished. No wonder the cameras are watching them - they might go nuts with the pressure.

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Grenade

Simple solution

Chewing gum on the lens!

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Big Brother

I'm just amazed...

...that the Police actually listened to a group of protesting people and managed to make a decision based on common-sense, rather than just nicking them all and adding them to their database of 'domestic extremists'.

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@Jimbo 6

My thoughts exactly...are we actually sure they were real police?

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FAIL

@Jimbo 6

'domestic extremists'? what do you think! They were gathering outside a school hence must have been kiddy fiddlers - that's the database they belong to.

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