Fury as school puts cameras in toilets to ‘broadcast’ on TV screen in corridor

A former pupil expressed their anger over what they felt was an “invasion of privacy” after a secondary school put CCTV in the bathrooms.

Selston High School in Nottinghamshire installed cameras on the sinks and recorded footage which was “broadcasted” onto the corridor via TV screens, said the student.

They also raised concerns over the way in which pupils were expected to conduct themselves, saying they “were told not to say no to a member of staff”.

The school, attended by 839 pupils aged from 11 to 16, is now planning to remove the cameras this week, reports Nottinghamshire Live.

The pupil, who graduated in June and wished to remain unnamed, said: “It’s a big issue. In the beginning we thought it was weird, but they soon placed TV screens outside the toilets which broadcasted the footage onto the corridor.

“Despite not being able to see into the cubicles, many said it felt like an invasion of privacy, as we should be able to use the toilets and leave without the need to film it on the corridor.

“It seemed as though CCTV was only placed to see what they wanted rather than what was needed.”

The student urged the school to “equip children with the skills to be able to disagree in a respectful way”.

They added: “Students were told they cannot say no to members of staff, and should they want to disagree they need to wait until after the lesson to do so. However, in application to the real world, this mindset becomes dangerous.

“Teaching kids that they are forced to say yes and agree with their elders as respect is dangerous; an idea that you should respect people either older, or more powerful than you are always right and that what they are doing is correct.

“As a school they should be equipping children with the skills to be able to disagree in a respectful way, rather than just dismissing it as them being disrespectful for questioning opinions.

“In the real world, you have to say no, in situations involving older members of society. What they are doing is straight up dangerous, and needs to stop almost immediately.”

The school, which was converted into an academy in 2016, said the cameras have been out of use “for some time” and that the health, safety and wellbeing of students is its absolute priority.

A spokesperson said: “We have a number of cameras across the school which cover several areas of the premises.

“All cameras, including those which were placed in the sink areas of the toilets, were installed following consultation with external experts.

“Following consultation with staff and students in recent months, the school has decided cameras focused on the sinks will be deinstalled and removed. The cameras have been out of use for some time already, and are scheduled to be taken down.

“We strive for a culture of kindness and respect across the school, and utilise a number of mechanisms to listen to student voice.

“As part of this we have a student council that feeds into key decisions across the school and run assemblies which encourage students to be respectful when communicating with others and respond positively to challenging situations.

“We welcome our students’ thoughts and opinions and believe that voicing them in a constructive way is an important part of their development.”