Should teachers wear body cameras?
Should teachers be allowed to wear body cameras in the classroom to record disruptions to class caused by naughty school children? Some teachers are wearing a Body Worn Camera to be able to report instances of unruly behaviour that has a negative effect on teaching and the attainment of other pupils. Teachers are able to switch on the devices when kids begin disrupting the flow of the lesson.
This move could help to prevent future bad behaviour and is a solid way of providing evidence to staff, parents and the pupils themselves of the need to be disciplined. It is certainly not yet widespread as only two schools in England have deployed the equipment in a trial. It could prove a popular move however, with a survey showing that more than two thirds of teachers would be happy to wear such a device.
Body cameras have been used by the Police for a decade now and they are also used by security guards, firefighters, some frontline staff and bouncers. But there is some debate over whether they would be effective in an educational setting. Some are concerned over their own privacy and that of the children. Some teachers feel it is a way of allowing management to spy on them and they already feel under enormous pressure to meet targets. All schools should feel like safe environments for both staff and pupils so would it safer to not have the cameras or safer to have them in class? For more information, visit http://www.pinnacleresponse.com/body-cameras-and-the-law/.
Some would argue that if a school has a strong behaviour policy which is accepted and fully understood by staff, parents and pupils, consistently applied and with effective sanctions – the use of cameras is not needed. However, with attacks against teachers increasing and the annoyance of parents when other children persistently disrupt their child’s learning – knowing that you could be recorded might be an extremely helpful deterrent.
The two schools in the trial are being given the option of using the cameras to film only when they feel necessary and that could be the answer to any concerns. The cameras don’t have to be recording all the time but are there to act as a preventative measure if things get out of control. Teachers do an incredibly tough job and most schools have some level of background disorder, be it mild or severe. Teachers should have the tools needed to empower themselves so that they can get on with teaching. The cameras are not like surveillance in that they are only switched on in relation to ‘incidents’. The two schools have not been named so as not to interfere with the outcomes of the trial and parents have been fully informed. The Department for Education has said that it’s a matter for the schools to decide