Teachers using body-cams in trial to combat unruly pupils

The Met Police use body-cams already Credit: PA

Teachers are using body-worn cameras in a trial to combat unruly pupils, an academic has revealed.

Tom Ellis, a criminal justice researcher, said that all classroom teachers in two state secondary schools were wearing the devices during the three-month experiment.

He said: "Most schools now have some level of problems with low-level background disorder in classrooms and the teachers have become quite fed up with not being able to teach."

The University of Portsmouth lecturer added that, much like the cameras worn by police officers, they do not constantly record and only do so when switched on during an incident.

Critics say that it risks turning teachers into snoopers. Credit: PA

Daniel Nesbitt, research director of civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, criticised the schools' pilot, saying: "This sounds like an over the top response to an age old problem.

"These schools have to be very careful about how they use this intrusive technology as it risks turning teachers into snoopers.

"Parents and pupils must be kept fully informed about the trial and be given every opportunity to raise any concerns they may have."

Vic Goddard, headteacher of Passmores Academy in Essex told Good Morning Britain that although his teachers do not use body cams in the classroom, his support staff use them during lunch time.

He said the main function of them is to help midday assistants identify and monitor pupils who may be out of bounds.

"It helps them do their job better," he said. "It is about improving what is going on in schools not necessarily about catching people doing things badly."

He said that CCTV is all over the school which he said can also be used to help young people make "better behaviour choices or to not be the victims of poor behaviour".

"You can view it as you're having your privacy invaded but we're not sitting monitoring something, we are using it for a very specific purpose," he said.

A Department of Education spokeswoman said the trial "is a matter for the schools", which were reportedly not named in case it interfered with the pilot scheme.

The Metropolitan Police began equipping thousands of frontline officers with body-worn cameras in October, with other forces around the country planning a similar roll-out.