Former Selston pupil's anger over 'invasion of privacy' with CCTV cameras in school toilets

A former pupil of a secondary school in Selston says CCTV in the toilets "felt like an invasion of privacy", although the school has responded by saying it is removing them.

By Jake Brigstock
Monday, 18th July 2022, 3:03 pm

The former Selston High School pupil graduated in June and does not want to be identified.

They also saidthey did not like the deferential culture expected towards staff at the school, which was rated 'good' overall in its last Ofsted inspection in April 2019 and has 839 pupils aged between 11-and-16-years-old on its roll.

The school, situated on Chapel Road in Selston, was converted into an academy under The Two Counties Trust umbrella in 2016.

A view of Selston High School. Image: Google Maps.

The pupil 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 pupil went on to express concerns about how they and their fellow peers were expected to conduct themselves at the school.

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," said the pupil.

“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."

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A spokesperson for the school said the health, safety and wellbeing of students is their absolute priority.

"We have a number of cameras across the school which cover several areas of the premises," said the spokesperson. "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 de-installed 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.”

Credit to Nottinghamshire Live for the use of this article.