Camera in Highbury school’s toilets ‘removed’
PUBLISHED: 13:03 25 September 2012
A high achieving school named as the only one in Islington to have CCTV in its toilets says the camera was removed in the summer.
Girls’ school Higbury Fields in Highbury Hill, Highbury, was identified last week by civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch (BBW) as one of 207 schools across Britain with CCTV in toilets or changing rooms.
But headteacher Gladys Berry said the toilets, which housed a single camera, were knocked down this summer.
She said: “We still have cameras around the perimeter and in a central courtyard, and their primary purpose is safeguarding the girls.
“We don’t have any in the toilets, but previously there were some. The camera was in where the lockers were, but these toilets have been demolished. There are no plans to put cameras in any of our new toilet facilities.”
Ms Berry added: “I can understand that there is concern about the number of CCTV cameras around in the community in general.
“But as a teacher, my primary concern is the safety and wellbeing of students.
“That’s the sort of thing that keeps you awake at night, knowing that they’re safe on the premises.
“No-one has ever raised any concerns about CCTV cameras and I genuinely had not really thought about it before.”
BBW gathered the figures through freedom of information requests to more than 2,000 schools. Director Nick 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.”