Anger over CCTV in school toilets
11:08am Friday 23rd January 2009 in News
A GIRL of 14 has left her school in protest over the installation of CCTV cameras in the toilets.
Her family says the cameras at Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi are an invasion of privacy.
"It’s big brother gone mad," said the girl’s father, Anthony White, this week.
His daughter Jade left the school three months ago and is due to transfer to Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn.
Mr White said: "The school has refused to take the cameras down. They say they are installed because there has been a lot of vandalism, but to have CCTV trained on the actual toilets is completely out of order. They have denied this is the case and have refused to move them.
"There was no consultation with parents or the school council about this before they were put in and they have refused to listen to us since," he added.
Head teacher Aeron Rees said there was "good reason" to install the cameras and Ceredigion County Council issued a statement saying the cameras only monitor the washbasin areas within the toilets.
Confirming that Dyffryn Teifi is the only school in the county to use CCTV in toilet areas, the Local Education Authority says it supports the action taken by the school.
A statement says: "The equipment was installed owing to pupils and cleaning staff reporting incidents that were of major concern to them. However, it is understood that the CCTV footage is only examined should an incident be reported either by pupils or the cleaning staff. Any such viewing of CCTV footage is undertaken by senior members of staff having Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance."
The statement adds: "Schools are, of course, required to consider the views and concerns of their pupils and take appropriate action. In this instance, the Ceredigion LEA concludes that Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi considered the concerns expressed by its pupils and acted accordingly. The Ceredigion LEA further understands that the school's actions have already shown significant improvements."