UK & World News
Teachers Warn Of 'Constant' CCTV Surveillance
Teachers say they are being subjected to constant surveillance by CCTV cameras in schools which are supposed to be used to keep pupils safe.
A poll conducted by the NASUWT union has revealed 8% of 7,500 members questioned said classroom cameras record their lessons. They felt the footage was being used by school leaders to monitor their performance.
The survey comes as delegates attending the union's annual conference in Birmingham discuss a motion suggesting there is too much surveillance of teachers.
It says the monitoring is unreasonable, without justification, and adds little value to pupils' progress.
The motion adds: "Its impact is to stifle creativity in education, disempower teachers, put procedure before purpose and increase the workload of teachers."
One teacher said of their school: "CCTV has been used against staff to imply they are handling a situation incorrectly even though the CCTV has no sound."
Another said: "In my school it has been used specifically with newly qualified teachers that the senior leadership team think are not performing well."
Nearly 90% of teachers who have CCTV in their classroom say they cannot switch the cameras off and 40% claim the recordings are monitored by school leaders and the footage used to make judgments about staff performance.
NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: "Teachers are already wrestling with excessive monitoring, masquerading as classroom observation, carried out by senior management and a host of other people regularly visiting their classrooms.
"The stories teachers recounted to us in the survey are a shocking catalogue of professional disrespect and unacceptable intrusion.
"No other professionals are subjected to such appalling treatment; no one should be subjected to the stress and pressure of being watched constantly. Lab rats have more professional privacy."