CCTV Policy for Schools

There isn’t a uniform CCTV policy for schools. Each school should create a policy and notify all staff and parents of the school’s security system and surveillance procedures. For parents, this can be given out when enrolling their children or published on the school website or handbook.

The Data Protection Act and Human Rights Act govern UK school CCTV policies. All CCTV cameras and school security systems installed by Classroom365 are NDAA compliant.

The following should be included in the school’s CCTV policy.

  • Presence of cameras.
  • Staff and student observation.
  • Privacy and location of cameras.
  • Parental and legal access.
  • Legal and ethical considerations.
cctv in schools policy

You can contact us for further guidance on CCTV in schools policy procedures using the form below.

Do Schools Need a CCTV Policy and What to Include?

Whether you’re a parent or a part of the teaching staff, understanding CCTV policy and procedures is essential for maintaining a safe learning environment in school.

Typically, a CCTV camera policy for schools should include the following information:

Presence of cameras

Most UK secondary schools use CCTV cameras as a security measure, and it is becoming increasingly popular in primary schools. This 2009 report estimates that 85% of secondary schools use CCTV. It is going to be a lot higher now! This means parents and teaching staff should expect the school parameters to be adequately monitored, even if they don’t explicitly sign a surveillance waiver. Moreover, all CCTV cameras are visible with visible signage, so guardians and staff can raise any concerns about the presence of cameras or lack thereof.

Staff and student observation

CCTV footage is usually recorded continuously and activated by motion detection. For safety reasons, only authorised security personnel, like the school’s management team, can access this footage. Each school should have comprehensive CCTV policy and procedures guidance that prevent video footage from being misused and is specified in the policy. Accordingly, parents can rest assured that students are being monitored reliably only by validated individuals.

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Privacy and location of cameras

A school CCTV policy must include the locations of the cameras. The cameras must always be visible and located in public areas. Most schools place surveillance cameras in the following areas:

  • Near entrances and exits.
  • Hallways.
  • Common areas, such as school halls, libraries or playgrounds.
  • Car parks.
  • Administrative offices.
cctv policy for schools

Parental and legal access

If you require access to video surveillance footage, you’ll need permission from the school’s senior management team. Legal guardians can request access to the footage if it pertains to their children’s well-being. Otherwise, parents and teaching staff have no access to the school’s CCTV footage. Furthermore, the police can view CCTV footage as a part of any investigation involving students or security incidents on school grounds.

Legal and ethical considerations

Most importantly, CCTV policy in schools must comply with UK law, including the Data Protection Act 1998, regarding handling sensitive information and GDPR data processing. Schools must be aware of all up-to-date changes to data protection regulations and inform parents and staff of any amendments. Schools must be registered with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) – further guidelines can be found here.

Who Can View CCTV Footage in a School?

Only the school’s senior management team should have access to recorded footage from the school’s CCTV system. CCTV footage in a school is typically recorded and saved on a network video recorder (NVR) or an older type of DVR system. CCTV footage should be kept for at least 28 days, after which the stored data is recorded over. It is possible to keep footage for longer; however, larger storage drives will be required.

An optimally configured CCTV system will only record when there is movement and sound. Remember, some cameras may record continuously, while others only record occasionally. A camera in a hallway will record more than a camera located at the back of a school covering an emergency exit.

School CCTV policies should specify the length of time CCTV footage is recorded on school premises. A good example is The Partnership Trusts. Here, they specify that footage is kept for 28 days unless there is evidence of an incident and investigation and that footage and images will be kept longer.

who can view cctv footage in a school

GDPR and CCTV Footage in Schools

Whether you are writing or updating a nursery CCTV policy or for a primary or secondary school, GDPR and CCTV in schools go hand in hand. It isn’t a school GDPR requirement to ask for permission from staff and parents if you are installing a new CCTV system or already have one in place. However, schools must let everyone know that there is CCTV onsite and included in your school CCTV privacy notice.

  • CCTV signs must be on walls around the school. You don’t need one near every camera, but they must be obvious. They also act as a good deterrent against crime.
  • Accessing CCTV footage from the NVR should be password protected, and only authorised users should be allowed to access the data.

To learn more about CCTV policies for schools and the security systems we install for the education sector, please get in touch.

nursery cctv policy

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