The Daily Mail UK reports on the spread of camera surveillance systems (including audio as well as video) into schools. Security is again being used as the excuse for widespread monitoring of schoolchildren.
Schools have installed CCTV cameras and microphones in classrooms to watch and listen to pupils as young as four.
The Big Brother-style surveillance is being marketed as a way to identify pupils disrupting lessons when teachers’ backs are turned.
Classwatch, the firm behind the system, says its devices can be set up to record everything that goes on in a classroom 24 hours a day and used to compile ‘evidence’ of wrongdoing. […]
The equipment, which includes ceiling-mounted microphones and cameras and a hard drive recorder housed in a secure cabinet, is operating in around 85 primary and secondary schools and colleges.
The systems cost around £3,000 to install in each classroom or can be leased for about £50 per classroom per month.
The UK Information Commissioner is scrutinizing the new systems. The Commissioner’s Office “has warned the surveillance may be illegal and demanded to know why primary and secondary schools are using this kind of sophisticated equipment to watch children. Officials said they would be contacting schools to seek ‘proper justification’ for the equipment’s use.”