Body cameras to be trialled in the education sector

The effectiveness of body cameras being used in the classroom is to be trialled by teachers at two schools in the UK, according to a report by the Times Education Supplement (TES).

Both of the unnamed schools have already started to look at early ideas into how they will implement the technology, with an initial idea being that teachers will wear the cameras on their clothes and the technology will be filming continuously.

However, teachers wearing the equipment would be required to activate a switch on the devices for incidents to be recorded and encrypted footage to be saved. As such, wearers of the technology are being encouraged to only switch their cameras to recording mode when ‘low-level’ incidents are developing. Furthermore, they have also been told that they will need to give notice before beginning a recording.

Tom Ellis, a principal lecturer at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at Portsmouth University, explains: “There’s very much an emphasis on getting rid of low-level disruption or disorder in the classroom.”

A similar move has already been implemented in schools across the US, while two UK police forces have also pioneered their own technique for using body cameras — see more details about this particular development by clicking here.

In regards to introducing body cameras in the classroom, Mr Ellis is confident that the technology can act as a deterrent. He expanded: “It can be used for self-reflection. It can be shown back to the pupil, one-on-one, and that can have a positive impact without the need to resort to disciplinary process.”

The trial already has a lot of support too, as evidenced by a TES poll which was reported on by the Independent.

According to the survey of over 600 teachers, 37.7 percent expressed that they were in favour of body cameras being used in the classroom. Around two-thirds also expressed that they would feel safer in their working environment thanks to the technology, while 10.9 percent were confident that the equipment will become compulsory in the future.

Body cameras may be a relatively new concept in the UK’s education sector, but the following examples showcase that CCTV systems have already been introduced in schools across the county in an effective manner:

  • Video Content Analysis systems, so that analysis of CCTV images can be carried out to provide meaningful information. For example…
  • The identification of whether objects have been removed from a certain area of the school.
  • The analysis of CCTV images in order to identify specific patterns, like smoke when addressing arson attacks.
  • The ability to establish virtual tripwires that trigger an alert, should someone attempt to cross a specific boundary – eliminating the need to erect walls or fencing at these locations.
  • CCTV in classrooms to address issues of bullying and also assist with teacher training — for the latter, this technology can be used as an alternative to having a teaching colleague present in the classroom throughout the entire lesson.
  • Access control systems, such as those provided by award-winning security specialist 2020 Vision, are specifically designed for educational establishments, so that security personnel can keep updated about who is in a facility once they have been added to turnstiles, gates and barriers throughout the institute.