Updated: Thursday, 13th August 2020 @ 11:08am

Oldham school tops most-watched list as 20 CCTV cameras used in changing rooms and toilets

Oldham school tops most-watched list as 20 CCTV cameras used in changing rooms and toilets

By Dean Wilkins

An Oldham school has the most CCTV cameras in their toilets and changing rooms in the country, according to new figures released today.

The Radclyffe School has 20 cameras in operation to keep an eye on children – but they are only above entry doors and overlook washbasins, according to their headteacher.

And more than 200 schools across the country use 825 cameras in toilets and changing rooms – with 54 schools using one camera for every 15 students.

But it Radclyffe – which opened four years ago – tops the list for the most watched school and principal Hardial Hayer claims that is their size that requires the most cameras.

"We have cameras around corridors and fields, it's part of the overall security,” Mr Hayer.

"It is misleading to say we have the highest number, it all depends on the design. We are also a much bigger school than the average secondary school."

The huge Freedom of Information investigation covered more than 2,000 schools in the UK as Big Brother Watch director Nick Pickles warned that children’s privacy is being put at risk because of the operation.

"This research raises serious questions about the privacy of schoolchildren across Britain, with some schools having one camera for every five pupils and hundreds of schools using cameras in toilets and changing rooms,” Mr Pickles said.

"The full extent of school surveillance is far higher than we had expected and will come as a shock to many parents.

"Schools need to come clean about why they are using these cameras and what is happening to the footage.

"Local authorities also need to be doing far more to reign in excessive surveillance in their areas and ensuring resources are not being diverted from more effective alternatives."

Big Brother Watch also claimed that the government’s proposal for a new regulatory structure was ‘not fit for purpose’.

Responses from 2,107 secondary schools and academies showed they used 47,806 cameras, including 26,887 inside school buildings – an average of one camera for every 38 youngsters.

In all, 90 percent of schools had CCTV cameras, with an average of 24 cameras in each of the 1,537 secondary schools that responded and 30 cameras in each of the 570 academies.

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