Easthampstead Park School head defends school CCTV policyBy Julie Spencer
September 19, 2012
Security cameras at a comprehensive school are not monitored and reassure pupils rather than spying on them, a headteacher said.
Gordon Cunningham, head of Easthampstead Park Community School, said two cameras installed in a toilet handwashing area five years ago were put there after students designed the space themselves.
Mr Cunningham was speaking after the Bracknell school was included in a national report by Big Brother Watch into CCTV in schools and academies.
The report put Easthampstead Park at 28th place in a league table of schools which have more than one camera for every 15 students. The school in Ringmead has one camera for every 12 pupils.
The school provided the information to the civil liberties organisation after it made a Freedom of Information request to more than 2,000 schools and academies.
The report lists Easthampstead Park as having two cameras in changing rooms or bathrooms.
Mr Cunningham said: “We do not have cameras in changing rooms because that would be inappropriate.
“One toilet does have two cameras and that was designed by a deputy head and students.
“It has a communal area behind a glass wall and the cubicles on either side are sealed.
“The cameras point towards the doors and were put there in case there was any damage.
“But in five years we have had no damage and no problems.”
Mr Cunningham said the school’s campus was large and cameras were placed outside around the site and in corridors.
He said there would be an issue with cameras if they were monitored and watching students going around the school.
He added: “They are not monitored but are there and can be accessed.
“We can look at them afterwards if there has been a problem.
“We don’t have to use them very often but they are there to reassure students.”