Heads spy on teachers

Trust no one

Teachers are preparing to protest against surveillance cameras and microphones that are being installed in classrooms across the UK.

Surveillance firm Classwatch has installed more than 50 CCTV systems with microphones across the UK, said the Times Educational Supplement on Friday.

Draconian headteachers, who have had teachers watched through two-way mirrors as well, grade teachers according to their performance under observation.

Occasional observation is necessary to ensure lessons meet quality targets set centrally by the Department for Education and Skills.

But the TES reported on Friday that teachers were being "observed to death", that surveillance was being used as a punishment, that schools were installing CCTV cameras with microphones into classrooms, and that teachers were wilting under the all-seeing Great Eye of Sauron.

Class observation was supposed to help teachers improve standards, but it appears to have morphed into surveillance.

Britain's biggest teachers' union, The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, has proposed a conference motion (pdf: item 96) to use "all means necessary" to stop what it called "yet another example of management bullying".

The union also disliked the short notice some teachers have been given about the installation of surveillance devices.

A partial copy of the TES story can be found here. ®

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