With changes to schooling in the UK, it is now becoming increasingly common for there to be CCTV in shared areas and classrooms. If you are an education centre who is considering installing surveillance cameras in your premises, it is incredibly important you familiarise yourself with and fully understand the legal requirements regarding the use of CCTV cameras.
While we always recommend you refer to UK legislation regarding CCTV and consult with your local authorities, here is a brief outline of ways you can comply with legislation regarding CCTV in schools.
Complying with legislation
All bodies that use CCTV, whether educational or commercial, must comply with legislation regarding recorded footage. Compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998, the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and the Human Rights Act 1998 is mandatory.
Establishing the use of CCTV
In order to comply with legislation, you will need to define why you are using CCTV in your school. External cameras will often be used to help keep premises secure, whereas you may find that internal cameras are used to monitor student behaviour and can be especially effective in reducing fights between pupils. Establishing how CCTV will be used will help you communicate plans with pupils, parents, and teachers, submit the correct information to the ICO and will mean you install the best system for your needs.
Informing the Information Commissioner
If you choose to install cameras in your education premises, you must inform the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and include the reason why CCTV is being installed onsite. Once cameras are installed, you must notify the Information Commissioner annually, even if there has been no change, and notify them within 28 days of any changes to your system.
Informing parents and students
You should let parents, guardians, and students know that you are planning on installing security cameras prior to installation. Outline where cameras will be installed, how they will be used, issue a privacy notice, and inform parents and pupils about the legislation you are complying with.
BWS Security provide, install, and maintain HD CCTV systems for schools in Bath, Gloucester, and throughout the south west. For more information about installing a system at your education premises, please get in touch with a member of our team by completing a contact form, or calling 01225 800 602.