Headteacher Magazine, guide to services and products for UK Schools
Following the acts of numerous schools throughout the US, it seems that teachers at two schools in the UK are to trial wearing body cameras in the classroom, a report by the Times Education Supplement (TES) has found.
The idea, pioneered by two UK police forces, has caught the attention of two unnamed schools who have already begun looking at early ideas into how they would implement the technology.
The teachers are set to wear the cameras on their clothes to capture incidents during school hours. Although the device needs to be activated to record, the technology intends to be filming at all times.
The aim is for “low-level” incidents to be recorded and saved onto the device. Teachers using a body camera are being advised to switch their cameras to recording mode when “low-level” incidents are taking place, but are also being made aware of the fact that they will need to give notice before doing so.
Tom Ellis, a principal lecturer at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at Portsmouth University, pointed out: “There’s very much an emphasis on getting rid of low-level disruption or disorder in the classroom.”
The lecturer has also suggested that the ‘idea’ of being filmed by a body camera might act as a deterrent for pupils who might cause an incident. He explained: “It can be used for self-reflection. It can be shown back to the pupil, one-on-one, and that can have a positive impact without the need to resort to disciplinary process.”
According to the TES poll reported on by the Independent, there seems to be a lot of support behind this technology.
37.7 per cent of more than 600 teachers surveyed have expressed that they are in favour of body cameras in the classroom and around two-thirds of those polled believed they would feel safer in their working environment. What’s more, 10.9 per cent of the survey’s respondents are confident that a time will come when such technology will become compulsory.
CCTV is another way that schools can monitor and observe the goings on in the school. While the use of body cameras in classrooms is a new idea, CCTV systems have already been seen in schools across the country in the following guises:
• Video Content Analysis systems so that analysis of CCTV images can be carried out, in order to provide meaningful information. For example…
❖ The identification of whether objects have been removed from a certain area of the school.
❖ The analysis of CCTV images in order to identify specific patterns, like smoke when addressing arson attacks.
❖ The ability to establish virtual tripwires that trigger an alert, should someone attempt to cross a specific boundary – eliminating the need to erect walls or fencing at these locations.
• CCTV in classrooms to address issues of bullying and also assist with teaching training — for the latter, this technology can be used as an alternative to having a teaching colleague present in the classroom throughout the entire lesson.
However, if you are concerned about the level of security in and out of your school, 2020 Vision has access control systems designed specifically for educational establishments which can be added to turnstiles, gates and barriers throughout your institute so that you always know who is in your facility.
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