Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Saturday, 24 January 2009

Pupil withdrawn over toilets CCTV

Generic picture of CCTV cameras
The cameras were installed after concern was raised over incidents

A teenage pupil has been withdrawn from her school after CCTV cameras were installed in the pupils' toilets.

Anthony White, from Llandysul told a newspaper that the cameras at Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi in Ceredigion were an "outrageous invasion" of privacy.

He said his 14-year-old daughter said she would not return to school while the cameras were still there.

But Ceredigion Council said it had installed the cameras after incidents of "major concern" were reported.

Mr White told the Carmarthen Journal that he had taken his daughter out of the school over the cameras.

"I think its an invasion of her privacy," he told the paper.

"The whole place is like they're on Big Brother. There are cameras all around the school, outside and in the corridors."

Cleaning staff

Ceredigion Council, which is the school's local education authority (LEA), issued a statement saying the CCTV footage in the school's toilet was only examined if an incident was reported.

"The LEA understands the equipment to have been installed owing to pupils and cleaning staff reporting incidents that were of major concern to them," the statement said.

"However, it is further understood that the CCTV footage is only examined should an incident be reported either by pupils or the cleaning staff.

"Any such viewing of CCTV footage is undertaken by senior members of staff having Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance. "

'Appropriate action'

The council said no other schools in Ceredigion are using CCTV in toilet areas used by pupils.

"The Ceredigion LEA draws attention to the fact that pupil surveys undertaken throughout the country continually show situations that arise in school toilet areas are one of the main concerns expressed by pupils," the statement continued.

"Schools are, of course, required to consider the views and concerns of their pupils and take appropriate action.

"In this instance, the Ceredigion LEA concludes that Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi considered the concerns expressed by its pupils and acted accordingly.

"The Ceredigion LEA further understands that the school's actions have already shown significant improvements."

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