Teachers are using body-worn cameras in a trial to combat unruly pupils, a Portsmouth academic has revealed.
Tom Ellis, a criminal justice researcher, said that all classroom teachers in two unidentified 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.
He said that they would not necessarily be used for any criminal investigation. It was more likely schools would use recorded evidence in a disciplinary case or merely to show a pupil or parents the bad behaviour in an effort to prevent a repeat.
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.
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.’