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St Paul's Catholic School in Milton Keynes has been named by campaign group Big Brother Watch as having CCTV in school toilet areas and/or in the changing areas.
Concerned with the level and amount of CCTV in society, Big Brother Watch has turned its' attention to the use of security cameras in our schools.
Using Freedom of Information laws, it contacted around 4000 schools and colleges up and down the country - around 2000 responded.
Out of those, 207 responded to say they did have cameras trained on or covering the toilet facilities in pupil/student changing room areas.
In Milton Keynes, the survey revealed St Paul's Catholic School uses cameras in one or more locations.
Emma Carr from Big Brother Watch told Heart, mum and dads must be told why the cameras are there and who can see the images: "One of the main concerns about CCTV is who can see the images, what the cameras are used for - and are the images stored, viewed live and is the whole system secure?
If parents are told about the use of cameras, why they are there in the first place, and if the use is effective and does have a positive impact for the reason they were installed; then parents would more likely accept that and we wouldn't have a problem with the schools using them - but they must be transparent about their CCTV policies."
St Paul's School issued the following statement
- There is a CCTV system covering the perimeter of the school and some of the outside areas within the school grounds. This system is designed to monitor any intruders who come into the school site, particularly when the school is closed. This system was installed in 2009.
- The school has a two storey toilet block. Within this block there is an entrance to the girls’ toilet on the ground floor and the boys’ toilet on the upper floor. There is a CCTV system monitoring the entrances to the toilets from the corridor and staircase outside. The system also monitors the sink and hand wash area of the boys’ toilets.Our aim is to ensure that the Toilet Block is felt by pupils to be a safe area which they are happy to use. The CCTV system, together with adult supervision by the Housekeeping staff who are based in the Toilet Block, help to achieve this. Thissystem was installed in 2006.
- There is no CCTV coverage in changing rooms or toilet areas, including urinals or toilet cubicles.
Please contact Michael Manley, Headteacher, at St. Paul’s if you have any comments or want further clarification
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