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General Chat Thread, New guidance on the use of CCTV in schools in General; New guidance statement from the Information Commissioner's Office today: 6 November 2009 CCTV in schools Jonathan Bamford, Assistant Information Commissioner, ...
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    use-IP's Avatar
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    New guidance on the use of CCTV in schools

    New guidance statement from the Information Commissioner's Office today:

    6 November 2009

    CCTV in schools

    Jonathan Bamford, Assistant Information Commissioner, said:

    “CCTV should only be used for a pressing need. It is perfectly reasonable for a school to
    use CCTV to help secure its premises, but it shouldn’t be left switched on capturing images
    of school children changing during the day. When a school is staffed and children are on
    the premises, cameras will not generally be required for security purposes. Organisations
    that do capture images using CCTV are required by law to adhere to the Principles of the
    Data Protection Act. Guidance for organisations using CCTV is available from
    CCTV Camera, the Data Protection Act


    Interesting sentence in the middle there

    The statement http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documen...ord_061109.pdf
    Last edited by john; 7th November 2009 at 06:25 PM. Reason: fixed first link

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Do they have any idea how obsurd that sounds. If someone said that to me face to face, or read it to me - I'd ask them to re-read it,or think about what they said. I'd ask them to keep doing it until they realised how stupid it would make them sound.

    So, the kids are in school, happily playing in the playground, watched by 5 or 6 qualified members of staff. There's a bunch in a corner somewhere, with only 1 staff member eyeing on them now and then. A madman leaps the fence near them and opens fire with a semi automatic, waves a knife around and stabs one of them, takes all his clothes off and streaks through the field, sexually assaults one of them. Pick an example out of the hat.

    But no, it's ok. There were staff around. Between them, they will 100% get a description of the assailant to make sure he's caught and dealt with. 100%. Definitely. Of course they will.

    It all sounds like the reasoning of someone who isn't too fussed about security, the whole point of CCTV in the first place. Just someone who's thinking "cameras - children - PERVERTS!" irrationally.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    hmm yes think ICO need to rethink this one...

    Russ

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    p858snake's Avatar
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    "but it shouldn’t be left switched on capturing images of school children changing during the day" <....................

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p858snake View Post
    "but it shouldn’t be left switched on capturing images of school children changing during the day" <....................
    Not changing as in getting dressed, I guess it means recording different students passing the camera throughout the day... or at least I hope it does!

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    CAM
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    Does that mean someone is ready with a ladder and a piece of cardboard to cover the camera at the train station when the kids change trains?

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    use-IP's Avatar
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    There's more information on what actually happened in this report at the Manchester Evening News

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    p858snake's Avatar
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    why doesn't that school have toilets/change room areas.......

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    I agree with the sentiment that they shouldn't be filming kids changing clothes. But to say they should be 'off' at any time is actually a real issue.

    Unless you can prove that the system is reliable, continuous and accurate, we have been told that any footage garnered would be inadmissible as evidence in a court. So, turning it off and on would simply make the system pointless.

    We have CCTV site-wide at our school. It has been used on dozens of occasions to find out about fights, bullying, to discover the source of vandalism and theft etc... It also acts as a deterrent - since it was installed, vandalism has dropped by more than 90%. It has been used to identify a car which almost ran a staff member over, on purpose. It has been used to identify a random person staring over our school fence, during school hours, whilst a class was doing PE.

    Simply put, regardless of what a random bloke says at the ISO, so long as we follow the DPA, I suspect it will remain exactly as it is now.

    To say it should be off when staff are there is nonsense.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Arr that makes sense i read it as changing lessons...

    Russ

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Ditto here - I would expect common sense to prevail there - just like in our favourite CCTV based reality shows, some places need privacy.

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    Its guidance though so you dont have to stick to it. I know we wont be.

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    There should be designated areas for changing, where there is not CCTV. Who actually has CCTV in changing rooms? I see no need for it.

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    Since staff are not to be in the same room as changing children (and definitely not to change in the same room) then there will be times when they are unsupervised. CCTV provides a reactive element of safeguarding in this instance. Should something take place the CCTV can be reviewed and the incident appropriately dealt with.

    It is important to point out the the CCTV recorded in this area (in fact in most areas) would not be actively monitored (watched by someone at a desk) but merely recorded for possible future needs. If there is a need to look at the recording then it is requested by a member of staff, the request is logged (and result of the request) and it is authorised by a member of staff delegated to grant access by the Head. The materials are watched by 2 people (usually the requestor and the authoriser) and the details also included in the logs.

    If there is a possible crime taking place then it should also be reviewed by a member of the police force.

    No member of staff should be forced to watch any indecent images so if it is a changing room then it would only be at real need.

    Where possible, all systems used should automatically log those accessing recorded materials to ensure an audit trail in conjunction with any paper records kept.

    Existing recommendations (will try and find URLs) include only having cameras pointed at the entrance / exit to changing rooms and toilets, to log who goes in and out. This does raise a number of issues when trying to track down people who have vandalised buildings / equipment or who are involved in alleged assault incidents.

    In real terms ... this is a piece of guidance based on a school not keeping parents informed about what is going on.

    In your CCTV policy you should have a list of all cameras, the reasons why they are there, when they will be turned on and who is authorised to check footage. This should be passed by your governing body who include Parent Governors. Where possible you should also have the information in a flyer of some sort to make parents aware of the CCTV. The important bit is to be truthful about it all and to stick to it.

    Some of this is a bit over the top by the parents involved, but you can understand their concern. It was dealt with professionally by the police and resolved amicably. The ICO has always pointed to common sense by an important factor in resolving things like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Since staff are not to be in the same room as changing children
    So basically the changing room is the place to bully other kids great. So how are teacher to retain control of these areas?

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