Secondary school defends putting CCTV cameras in pupils' toilets


Secondary school defends putting CCTV cameras in pupils’ toilets despite parents saying they are ‘creepy’ and ‘disturbing’

  • Concerned parents said she was shocked when son told her about toilet CCTV
  • Pupil said he now feels ‘awkward’ going to the toilet at the school in Devon 
  • College has assured parents that CCTV does not cover urinal area or cubicles  

A secondary school has defended its decision to install CCTV camera in pupils’ toilets despite parents saying they are ‘creepy’ and ‘disturbing’.  

A concerned parent says she was shocked when her son came home and showed her a photograph he had taken inside one of the boy’s toilets at Cullompton Community College in Mid Devon.

The pupil said he now feels ‘awkward’ going to the toilet at school, prompting his mother to question whether they are really necessary and if a different solution can be found.

The college has assured parents that the CCTV in the toilets does not cover the urinal area or the inside of cubicles.

A concerned parent says she was shocked when her son came home and showed her a photograph he had taken inside one of the boy's toilets at Cullompton Community College in Mid Devon

A concerned parent says she was shocked when her son came home and showed her a photograph he had taken inside one of the boy’s toilets at Cullompton Community College in Mid Devon

The parent, who asked not to be named, said: ‘My son says he doesn’t feel comfortable with them being in the toilets. He doesn’t know who watches it, or for what reason, and that makes him feel really awkward about using the toilets now.

‘I can’t really blame him. I certainly wouldn’t use a toilet with a camera in the same room.

‘It’s beyond disturbing. I appreciate the school will say it’s to stop vandalism or bullying, but this is just creepy, not to mention completely unnecessary over the urinals.

‘If the cameras aren’t in the cubicles then there’s nothing to stop that going on in them, making the cameras completely pointless anyway.

‘There’s enough dodgy stories coming out of schools without them installing CCTV in the children’s toilets too. Surely there has to be a better option?

‘I haven’t spoken to the school as I don’t want them to take my concerns out on my son.’

The pupil said he now feels 'awkward' going to the toilet at school, prompting his mother to question whether they are really necessary and if a different solution can be found. Pictured: Cullompton Community College

The pupil said he now feels ‘awkward’ going to the toilet at school, prompting his mother to question whether they are really necessary and if a different solution can be found. Pictured: Cullompton Community College

The installation of CCTV is covered by The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, and it is not uncommon for schools to use cameras as a deterrent for bullies, monitor remote areas, or to catch out anti-social behaviour.

The college says it has used CCTV in its toilets for many years.

Tracey Ward, whose role as school business manager includes CCTV, said: ‘I can confirm that there are CCTV cameras installed in the school toilets here at CCC, as there are in many schools.

‘The first installation within our toilets – over 10 years ago – was a result of requests for them via Student Voice, and there was a consultation with students, staff and governors to agree the installation.

‘Safeguarding our staff and students is priority, all our CCTV cameras are visible, meet regulations and are installed and maintained by a SSAIB approved installer. 

‘The cameras that are installed in our toilets do not cover the urinal area or the inside of cubicles. Those areas are blanked out of the field of vision on installation and if the parent had approached the school their concerns could have been addressed immediately.’

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