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Hundreds of cameras found during school inspection

An emergency inspection has raised concerns after it found a school near York was using 700 CCTV cameras.

A report by the Independent Schools Inspectorate said its unannounced inspection at Queen Ethelburga's College - which was carried out earlier this year at the request of the Department for Education - identified a series of specific issues.

Issues raised related to the use and monitoring of CCTV, the training and practice of staff in safeguarding, record keeping and the role of the provost and governors. The concerns prompted a second, announced inspection in the summer so inspectors could clarify the issues.

The report said some pupils expressed concern over the number of cameras around the site, 'and the fact that they were sometimes used to catch pupils behaving inappropriately (e.g. kissing or queue jumping).'

"The extensive use of CCTV surveillance across the school beyond usual security practice is an approach which is causing some pupils and parents concern. The use of cameras in the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) without sufficient controls and as observed on both visits is inappropriate.

At the time of the inspections, around seven hundred CCTV cameras were located around the school, including in the Early Years Foundation Stage, though not in boarding houses or designated pupil changing areas.

In the EYFS, it was school policy for staff to cover or stand in front of the cameras to shield the children when the children are changing.''

– Independent Schools Inspectorate

The school refuted the number of cameras on site, saying it was in fact 501. It added it had carried out improvements since the inspection.

"Like most independent schools, Queen Ethelburga's makes use of CCTV cameras for security reasons. But their use is tightly restricted. There are 501 CCTV cameras across the whole 200 acre site, of which 451 are specifically used by the school. There are no cameras in any area that would be considered inappropriate such as boarding houses, none in the EYFS areas, none in changing areas or toilets. Inside the buildings they are deployed across the 200 rooms used for teaching as well as in public areas. At the time of the inspection, there had been cameras in EYFS classrooms, but not in designated changing areas. However, on occasion the children used these classrooms to change, and on those occasions it was the practice for the teacher present to cover the camera. However, following the review, all 7 cameras were removed from the EYFS classrooms and our policy on changing facilities was reinforced with staff.

All the cameras are in open view, in public , not in areas which might pose a threat to privacy. The school has a CCTV policy, and as recently as this autumn carried out a full review and audit, consulting with parents and all members of staff. The CCTV system is registered under the terms of the Data Protection Act with the Information Commissioner and fully complies with all the requirements of the Act.

Following the ISI inspection we agreed an action plan covering the issues raised by the inspection team and we implemented all these changes over the summer prior to the start of term. This plan was accepted by the DfE as addressing all the issues raised in the report."

– Steven Jandrell, Headmaster

School confirm students fainted during remembrance service assembly

Outwood Academy school in Ripon has confirmed that pupils fainted during a remembrance service this morning.

This morning 4 students fainted during the remembrance service assembly at Outwood Academy Ripon.

One of these students bumped their head when they fainted and was taken to the local walk-in minor incident centre in Ripon as a precaution.

Following the assembly, a further 20 students presented themselves during the course of the morning complaining of feeling faint and dizzy. At this point the Academy, again as a precaution, called an ambulance.

The ambulance service took the decision to escalate the matter as there were more than 3 potential causalities, as is their normal procedure, and the Police and Fire Service attended the site.

The emergency services have undertaken tests on the site and have quickly established that there was no chemicals or hazardous gases were present.

A total of 40 students were treated on site, however, all were able to be released back to their lessons, or at the end of the school day.

We thank the emergency services for their speedy response in attending the academy site and making the safety of our students and staff paramount.

We also thank parents, carers and the community for giving the academy the space and time to deal with this matter and know that they would always expect us to follow the instruction of the emergency services until we are satisfied that their children are not at risk.

The academy will be open as normal tomorrow.

– Outwood Academy


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Pupils started feeling ill 'during the minute's silence'

Olivia Craft, a pupil at Outwood Academy, spoke to ITV News Credit: ITV News

A pupil at the school in Ripon where up to 40 pupils have been treated for sickness said the students began to feel unwell during the minute's silence taking place to commemorate Armistice Day.

Olivia Craft told ITV News pupils started to collapse just after 11am.

Pupils are being treated at the school, but none have been taken to hospital at this stage.

No pupils have been admitted to A and E

The Harrogate and Distrct NHS Trust has released a statement following sickness among up to 40 pupils at the Outwood Academy.

The trust said: "Two children were seen by a Nurse Practitioner at our Ripon Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) this afternoon. Neither child had a significant medical problem and both were discharged home. No patients have been admitted to our Emergency Department as a result of this incident."

40 pupils 'being treated at scene'

Cause is still unknown

Yorkshire Ambulance Service has issued a statement saying up to 40 students are currently being treated on the scene at Outwood Academy, and not 27 as originally reported - but they have not taken any to hospital at this stage.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service received an emergency call from Outwood Academy School in Ripon at 11.30am this morning to reports that a number of students had fallen ill suddenly with nausea and feeling faint. We dispatched a number of resources to the scene including a doctor, three ambulance crews, two rapid response vehicles, a number of Clinical Supervisors and our Hazardous Area Response Team. Forty students are currently being treated on scene, but we have not conveyed any patients to hospital at this stage. The cause of the incident is unknown and emergency service colleagues from North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service are at the school carrying out investigations.

– Yorkshire Ambulance Service

Ripon MP offers support to Outwood School

The MP for Skipton and Ripon has tweeted offering his support for Outwood School, where 27 pupils have been affected in a health scare. He says Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has also offered her department's help.


Specialist officers investigate Ripon school incident

Emergency services at the scene

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service say its Hazardous Materials Specialist Officers are investigating the incident at Outwood Academy, along with crews from Ripon and Boroughbridge.

A specialist detection, identification and monitoring (DIM) team from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is also working alongside them.

It has been confirmed that two of the 27 pupils affected were taken to hospital, the rest were treated at the scene by ambulance staff.

We are working with colleagues from North Yorkshire Police and Yorkshire Ambulance Service at this time to determine what has caused this occurrence. Further information will follow as we have it.

– North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
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School is evacuated

Pupils displayed signs of 'sickness and feeling faint'

Emergency services remain at the scene at Outwood Academy School on Clotherholme Road in Ripon.

Police were called at around 12.30pm - its is believed the incident happened sometime between 11am and 11.30am. A number of students had collapsed at the school and a number of others were taken ill. It is reported 27 students have been affected, all displayed signs of sickness and feeling faint. Some have been attended to by paramedics at the scene and others have been taken to hospital.

At this stage it is not known what has caused the students to fall ill and officers are working with the fire service to establish what has caused the incident.

– North Yorkshire Police

Pupils taken ill at North Yorkshire school

Emergency services are currently in attendance at the Outwood Academy School on Clotherholme Road in Ripon.

Police received reports at around 12.30 today that several students had collapsed at the school. A number have been taken to hospital.

A spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police said the safety of all the students and staff at the school was paramount and officers were working with the fire and ambulance services to establish what has caused the students to collapse.

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