Today it was revealed that two schools in England have agreed to be part of a trial for the use of body cameras in classrooms. The cameras will be worn by teachers and will only be activated when the teacher feels the situation warrants it.
Mary Bousted, general secretary at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said the union did not support the use of surveillance technology to monitor children and staff.” All schools should be safe places for pupils and staff,” she said.”The evidence suggests that the best way to ensure children behave well in schools is for schools to have a good behaviour policy which is accepted by all staff and parents and is consistently applied in the school with sanctions all the pupils understand. If schools have good behaviour policies they should not have to resort to using body cameras or CCTV. We would not support schools being turned into prisons. CCTV can have a useful role in monitoring entrances and exits to schools to prevent strangers gaining access or vandalism, but we do not support their use in schools to monitor children and staff.”
According to The Guardian a department for Education spokeswoman said that it was, “a matter for the school.” and “The schools are acting within the law as far as we know, but we haven’t investigated this matter,”
Mary Bousted is living in dream land, blaming a schools policies for bad behavior is a joke. It does not matter what the policy is or whether it is “understood” by pupils, pupils do not care as long as they can deny what they are accused of. Cameras in class is a great idea but I would say that it should not be up to the teacher to activate the recording process. The camera should be placed in the ceiling and should be on all the time. I am sure that parents would support it, why not, if your children are well behaved and have been brought up to respect their teachers, there should not be a problem.
It is a sad state of affairs when cameras are needed in classrooms but that is the situation we are in, it is no good wishing things were different. Schools have to live with the reality and deal with it.