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Can SLT insist or put pressure on staff to be filmed during teaching?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Spice0012, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. Spice0012

    Spice0012 New commenter

    Evening all
    Our school has tried a few times to get staff to sign up to filming apps so slt can ‘film observations so they can showcase outstanding teaching’ they claim.
    However staff are very wary/nervous and haven’t signed up so far. Now we’ve had all emails so say there’s a new programme which we must sign up to ready for September training on inset day.
    My worries is what happens to the films afterwards, who owns the films and how the new data laws impact and protect staff, can the school use films on YouTube/websites or further trainings. Our staff are so wary about this that over the past few months staff have been covering the cameras on laptops to avoid the personal intrusion.

    Any advice would grateful
    JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  2. Billie73

    Billie73 Occasional commenter

    I would not be happy about this at all. Have you spoken to your union about it?

    My school encourages us to film parts of sessions/activities for evidence (SEN school) but these are not used for performance management.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. ronnieg

    ronnieg New commenter

    Honestly not sure whether you can refuse - can you get the school to give you clear , written guidelines as to what the purpose is for , who owns it etc. You could also phone your union to find out what they recommend.

    Years ago we had CCTV installed in all classrooms without being consulted - we found out when they came round to do the site survey - it was for our protection and wouldn't be used against us. The monitor was in the head's room - we had some comments of I happened to notice on the cameras that you were .....
    agathamorse, jlishman2158 and pepper5 like this.
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    GDPR? I'd agree to nothing, sign up for nothing until speaking to my Union.

    And if they go through with it, I might turn up to teach like this:


    Or if I were a woman, like this:

  5. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Were you working in East Germany???:eek:
    jlishman2158, ronnieg and pepper5 like this.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Minefield. I'd be straight on to the union. Not because I would care about being filmed but I am protective of my anonymity and I wouldn't tolerate appearing on YouTube or anywhere else.
  7. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    What strikes me about this (as useful as it CAN be to see exactly how you come across to students and indeed other people, it can be very illuminating....) is that it must be nigh on impossible to film a teacher/lesson without filming kids as well who fall into shot. Parental permission? Safeguarding?
  8. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    You can't be filmed without your express, written agreement.
    I agree re: safeguarding issues and pupils, too.
  9. smurphy6

    smurphy6 Senior commenter

    I would not agree to this even with intense pressure. I dislike having my photo taken so the thought of being filmed and that film existing in the hands of others horrifies me.

    Say no and keep saying no, we work in schools not prisons.
  10. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Really? So all the CCTV cameras in schools, shops car parks etc are illegal? And those TV shots of the crowd at football matches etc.
    JohnJCazorla and nomad like this.
  11. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I guess staff will be sticking paper over the camera lens...;)
    jlishman2158 and Marshall like this.
  12. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I would hate the idea, but I don't think that it is illegal. CCTV is a feature of many workplaces already, and is common in corridors of schools. However, if enough people made a fuss via their union? I might accept it if there were very firm rules in place on how it can be used, including that it will only be viewed if there was an incident that justified it and that viewing would be in the presence of the teacher concerned. If that were the case, it could protect teachers against false allegations.

    I once worked in an office with CCTV. One of my younger colleagues received a phone call to tell him to stop chatting up a woman the person monitoring the cameras fancied.
    JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  13. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It doesn't need express written consent in an employment context if the employer can demonstrate a legitimate interest in monitoring staff, although there are a number of steps employer must take to be GDPR compliant. Whether a school could show that legitimate interest in this case I don't know - union for advice. Children's images are a key issue too but it all depends what the images are used for, how they are stored, who sees them and compliance with GDPR general requirements about the retention and management of personal data.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  14. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    They should be telling you how the data is going to be processed and used as well as how long the data will be kept for. (see also the Department for Education on its guidance on privacy notices).

    Remember under GDPR you can withdraw consent at any time - so you could agree, do the training and don't like what you hear and withdraw after.
  15. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    In my opinion all areas of a school should have cctv*. Not just classrooms. Nothing that goes on in a lesson should be secret. It would reduce bullying and bad behaviour and I would use it to confront some parents with what their children get up to. It would also help massively in child protection, there would be no private conversations between students and staff. Lots of workplaces have cctv there is nothing special about teachers that should mean they are too sensitive to be recorded.

    *Except toilets and changing rooms obviously.
  16. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    So you'd agree to the offices of all SLT having CCTV cameras, with the feed available for all classroom teachers to check what they are doing as well?;)
  17. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    When is all this rubbish going to stop?

    I agree with filming a lesson occasionally as a demonstration lesson (with the permission of everyone) as this can be very useful. BUT, cameras in class all the time - it doesn't bear thinking about - you would have to think about everything you said and all spontaneity (which can be the best teaching) will be lost.

    Thank goodness I have just retired is this is the way forward.
    agathamorse and Catgirl1964 like this.
  18. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    You could sign something each year as to what images and films of you can be used for, as we do.
    So you could sign to say that an occasional film for in school use is fine, but nothing is to be published on the internet.
    Similarly for photos.
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    CCTV and crowd shots are not intended to feature a single, identified individual so permission is not required.
  20. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    So a news story in which a person is featured and identified is illegal? Or when the camera zooms in on a famous person at Wimbledon?

    I would be interested to see which law you are talking about.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.

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