Are teachers allowed to use mobile phones in class?

(99 Posts)
hulahoopsilove Wed 29-Jan-14 18:25:14

Ds just said the teacher yr4 got her mobile out and was taking pictures of his work...artwork.

I thought mobiles were banned surely to safe guard children.

Sirzy Wed 29-Jan-14 18:26:18

Some schools use mobile phones/ipods as quick and easy to use cameras for classroom use.

Check with the school if worried I am sure they will have a policy.

MissMillament Wed 29-Jan-14 18:27:18

No mobiles are not banned in class in my school. I use mine frequently to take pictures of children's work. How would not doing this mean children were safer?

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Wed 29-Jan-14 18:27:32

All our teachers have iPads for taking pictures in the classroom.

vestandknickers Wed 29-Jan-14 18:28:11

Wouldn't you like to see a nice pic of your son's artwork? Sounds like she was doing a nice thing. Most schools have a limited number of cameras and she was probably just seizing the moment. I should imagine she just wants to print it to put on a display board or in your son's book - not to post it on her Facebook page!

Kittymalinky Wed 29-Jan-14 18:29:57

Yep I use mine all the time especially if we've lost our camera to another class I'd only take pics of work, not kids though.

I also use it as a reward if someone has been really good they can play a game on it in choosing time.

missmapp Wed 29-Jan-14 18:30:03

In my school we can use mobiles to take photos, although we do have school cameras to do the same.

No doubt they will soon be banned , sigh!

hulahoopsilove Wed 29-Jan-14 18:31:26

I.think after the awful,.awful happenings at the Nottinghamshire nursery a fee years back I would of thought mobiles would of been banned.

I've asked more and she is always texting and talking calls.

knitknack Wed 29-Jan-14 18:34:13

Banned?! Um, I'm a grown up....

Oakmaiden Wed 29-Jan-14 18:35:01

Texting and taking calls during lesson time is almosty certainly against school policy.

Using mobile phones as a camera is often allowed as long as the images are put onto the school system asap and deleted from the privately owned device. She should not be retaining the pics on her camera.

MissMillament Wed 29-Jan-14 18:38:15

'She should not be retaining the pics on her camera'.

Not if they are pics of pupils, but if they are pics of the children's work, as in this case, why not?
You sound like you are on a bit of a witch hunt OP, tbh. The Nottinghamshire nursery situation is not even remotely comparable.

JellyBabiesSaveLives Wed 29-Jan-14 18:38:53

Ds2's teacher texts me ds2's blood glucose levels if they are out of range, or phones for advice on how to treat a high level. Lot quicker & easier than going to the office to phone me.

Oakmaiden Wed 29-Jan-14 18:44:15

MissMillament - yes, of course you are right. Pictures of work (and no children) are generally not a problem.

vestandknickers Wed 29-Jan-14 18:59:12

Hulahoops. Maybe you could focus on the fact your son obviously did a good job on his artwork rather than quizzing him for ways to catch out his poor teacher.

MrsKCastle Wed 29-Jan-14 20:12:22

We're not allowed mobiles in our classrooms, which I completely agree with. I wouldn't want to be in a situation where a parent or child accused me of using a mobile inappropriately (e.g. texting in lesson time).

Plus it's too much of a theft risk, unless you have it on your person the whole time. Just easier not to have them around.

spanieleyes Wed 29-Jan-14 20:14:56

Good grief, I go ballistic when a pencil disappears, heavens knows what would happen if someone stole my phone!!

Oakmaiden Wed 29-Jan-14 20:15:54

I am obsessive about pencils and pens in my classroom. I count them...

ravenAK Wed 29-Jan-14 20:16:33

I do this all the time (kids' work).

I used to have a posho flexi camera attached to my whiteboard, but it blew up & there's no money in the pot to replace it.

Calls/texting etc are against school policy though. & definitely not allowed to take photos of kids as opposed to their work.

Hulababy Wed 29-Jan-14 20:17:51

We are not - its in our school policies. They have to be kept turned off and ideally locked away. They can be in the classroom but off and out of reach/sight, ideally in a locked cupboard.

However - this only changed a year ago in response to an incident elsewhere - and not one where a child was actually affected in any way.

Before that we could make use of apps, camera etc as part of school work, etc.

Not all schools bar them though - in some there are used activiey. there are even special apps for recording evidence linked to EYFS and KS1 for example. We are trialling these on iPads now though.

And in secondary I know that in DD's school although technically they should be off and out of sight, even for children, in some lessons they are encouraged to used them for different educational purposes.

TBH for safeguading I am ntot convinced it is areally a major issue though. If someone really was that way included there would be ways and means, equally as accessible. Most classrooms have class cameras and video recorders for example - and teachers take their school laptops home, and memory sticks, etc.

Hulababy Wed 29-Jan-14 20:18:31

And yes - all our classrooms have a staff iPad - and yes, they are allowed home too.

I used to use my phone to take pictures of kids' work but now we have iPads which is much more convenient. I'm using it now,in fact.
As for calls and texts - school are fine if you're waiting for an important phone call, for example, but clearly not for texting/chatting during lessons.

Euphemia Wed 29-Jan-14 22:04:10

My classroom camera is an ancient piece of crap that tells me to change its batteries every time I've taken two photos. hmm

We all use our mobiles to take photos. I'm trusted as a professional to upload them to the school server and delete them from my phone.

There's no phone signal or Wifi where I work, so the camera is the only thing that functions! smile

simpson Wed 29-Jan-14 22:10:30

It may be a phone that is specially used for school pics.

The school I am in (not my DC school) use an iPad.

VioletStar Wed 29-Jan-14 22:20:53

I have answered my phone in class (secondary). And talked on it when I have students there. It was my own children's school and one of my DC was taken ill. I'm at work, not school!
I take your point about child protection though and no, never use to take pics of kids. I do take pics of work, usually because it's brilliant.

hulahoopsilove Wed 29-Jan-14 23:47:03

I was just shocked that it was openly used not only for work but personal calls my Ds says texts beep through all the time

Senior school portrait lessons certainly used phones. Much easier than keeping still.

ravenAK Thu 30-Jan-14 00:32:33

I have texts beeping through every so often. I also have a zombie alarm from the Xmas hols that goes off in my bag at 11.30 every day & which has become a running joke with all 4 of the classes I teach at that time on different days.

They'd be terribly disappointed if I cancelled it!

I'd never reply to a text or answer a call whilst teaching though - we have a specific clause in our staff IT policy prohibiting this, which is largely uncontroversial - the Head had far more resistance when he tried to ban the use of Facebook/twitter by staff, on phones, during the lunch hour...

Euphemia Thu 30-Jan-14 06:30:58

My phone is in the staffroom most of the time as it makes my IWB speakers buzz. hmm

I've only ever kept it in class for calls when I was on supply, as DD's school had that number in case of illness, etc.

MiaowTheCat Thu 30-Jan-14 08:21:10

When I was on supply I kept mine with me on silent or vibrate in my pocket. Think I had one occasion where I had it out on the desk, having OKed it with the head, because that classroom had no clock visible from the teacher's chair for carpet time and my watch battery had gone kaput (as always, at the start of a week so I couldn't get it fixed till the weekend!) and I needed some way of checking I was keeping to time in the lesson input part of the session! It's been used occasionally as well for those lessons where you need stopwatches to time small group stuff and the batteries on all the buggers are knackered (again) - in that case I think I had one group using the whiteboard timer, one group using my phone (I trusted them... and I'd set it to airplane mode without telling 'em anyway!), and one group using my iPod or something like that!

More than anything else if you get your phone out in a KS2 class you usually get mercilessly critiqued by the kids for how ancient a model it is!

wholesomemum Thu 30-Jan-14 08:34:29

Look I'm a former teacher and you should all realise that there are new policies where teachers create portfolios of children's work for their careers. They are actively encouraged to do so in order for there to be tangible evidence of the outcomes of their teaching. Secondly many schools encourage it too, as they like to have records and resources for displays not to mention the all-important websites. It is a parent's right to request that no image of their child be made or disseminated by a school without their permission. Every school has a form for this and keeps a record which legally all staff are obliged to refer to. However, it is inevitable that in cases where this request has not been made that one or several teachers in a school will probably have pictures of your kid on their laptops. Not because they're perverts but because they are hardworking professionals who are rushed off their fleets and probably thought it would be nice for the kids and parents if there we as a display in the entrance Hall of their classes trip to the zoo or of the school play. This has always gone on. They are the adult. They have been CRB checked. Lighten up or start homeschooling. Jeez!!

wholesomemum Thu 30-Jan-14 08:39:07

Also...one more thing on the phones-cameras continuum...technology is advancing so fast that we everyone will soon have a device that does everything...great pics, videos, calls, emails...in theory most of us already do. Phones are not what make children vulnerable...not if wielded by adults who are qualified and repeatedly screened. I'm sorry but it makes me sad that so many parents refuse to invest any trust in teachers anymore. It makes their lives hell at times, to be frank. And if in doubt, what's so difficult about a frank but reasonable conversation with teacher? Honestly!

indyandlara Thu 30-Jan-14 09:26:03

I have mine out and regularly update FB, criticising the kids in the room...

indyandlara Thu 30-Jan-14 09:27:15

Or maybe mine is out as I use it to play music to accompany some activities, connect to the IWB to project some apps and use the clock when my wall clock has no batteries.

hulahoopsilove Thu 30-Jan-14 11:34:05

Still feel most parents would be shocked if they knew. Spoke to my friend who is a nursery manager and she was shocked. All her stack have to leave them in their lockers

brettgirl2 Thu 30-Jan-14 13:22:31

ironic isn't it? In 3 years time when your dc is in secondary you'll be on about how they need a phone for 'safety'.

If a teacher is a peadophile then banning their mobile phone is hardly going to be a big deterrent. In fact perhaps it would make them easier to catch.

ShadowOfTheDay Thu 30-Jan-14 13:54:08

I'm a parent.... I'm not shocked....

Would you like the teachers who take the kids out to the park to not have a mobile phone with them, how about when they do forest school way down the back of the playing field.... my goodness they could take pics of the kids .... or ring for help when the epileptic child has a fit, or a careless one got a stick in his eye..... if it is ok in those situations, then it is ok in a classroom..

vestandknickers Thu 30-Jan-14 18:26:58

I'm a parent. Why would I be shocked that a teacher had a phone - or even checked it occasionally in class time?

brockenpurpleheart Thu 30-Jan-14 18:31:47

I have my phone on my desk. On silent. I do this since DS had an accident at his school, my mobile was in my bag, his school left a message with reception at my school and the receptionist didn't think to get it sent to me, despite it saying urgent, it was on the notice board and I had three hours of teaching before I went down there. Luckily I checked my phone between lessons which I don't normally do. Had to leave and get DS in hospital ...

clam Thu 30-Jan-14 18:33:38

I think you're over-reacting.

Bloodyteenagers Thu 30-Jan-14 18:43:38

Our policy, which is bog standard as issued by the council, is phones are not allowed in certain areas of the school. THey are allowed in classrooms, and can be used to take pictures. However, everything has to be deleted at the end of the day.

Not sure really what the issue is. Educators need to take evidence of work. This cannot always be the actual work but video/pictures of the work, which is then added to the database. To do this, you need access to a camera. Not all classes have cameras. Not all classes have an ipod, and so at times educators have to use their own devices, sometimes phones and sometimes their own cameras.

goingmadinthecountry Thu 30-Jan-14 22:13:10

I'd never use my mobile for pictures in class. I use a school camera or a school tablet. Would never dream of using my own phone. There's enough technology to use in school. Absolutely no need for phone.

I'd use my phone in an emergency but leave it switched off during lessons. Switch it on if I'm off site (swimming etc) but would never use it for personal calls.

hulahoopsilove Thu 30-Jan-14 23:35:27

If work needs to be documented schools should provide cameras

magnumicelolly Fri 31-Jan-14 00:22:14

Ha ha ha maybe they should... but in reality, many don't have a camera for every class, and if they do, they are often old, clunky and run on AA batteries that run out every 5 minutes. Where do you suggest they magic up the money for sets of new cameras at £60 or so a pop for ones with integral batteries?

I'm not sure I see your problem anyway. Surely any photo the staff take on their mobile could be taken on a school camera and vice versa, then used in exactly the same way? If the class teacher you are talking about was determined to take and use 'dodgy' photos, why would this be any easier on a camera phone than a school camera?

You comment on nurseries- but surely these are very different in that many children in them cannot communicate what has gone on as clearly as school age children?

curlew Fri 31-Jan-14 00:30:22

Not quite sure what I'm supposed to be shocked about- could you tell me please?(

Jinsei Fri 31-Jan-14 00:59:13

My dd's teacher has her phone in the classroom. I know this because her beloved teacher from last year, who is now at another school, sends text messages to the entire class through the current teacher's phone. grin The kids all think this is marvellous, and I think it's really sweet that she makes the effort to keep in touch.

It's possible that dd's teacher checks other messages from time to time, but I can't really get upset about it. Thing is, I trust the teacher to do a good job, because she is extremely conscientious and she cares about what she does. Whether or not she reads the odd text in the classroom makes no odds to me at all, as I know that my dd is safe, happy and making fantastic progress.

adoptmama Fri 31-Jan-14 04:06:02

I doubt she is 'always texting and making calls' regardless of what is said. Just another example of teaching bashing. Poor woman tries to capture an image of a nice piece of work by your child and this is your reaction. I frequently film and photograph children performing/acting in my lessons on my own ipad because the school doesn't have this available. Children love to see the films played back in class. Funnily enough I don't then store them (I like the memory on my device for my own apps and filming my own kids) nor do I use them for evil purposes. That is because I am a professional. DDs school puts photos in their reports, which I love, and we get a dvd of photos at the end of the year. Lovely memories. Why the hell would any normal parent object to their child being photographed in class or a photo being made of their work? Do we really live in such a frightened society that parents genuinely suspect the teachers are predators or will expose their children to danger?

There is a very disturbing trend of threads on here where parents seek to turn every thing a teacher does into a reason to criticise. The overwheming majority of teachers are hugely professional and hugely hard working. Taking photos of work in class is not unprofessional. It is not a reason to be shocked. It should not be a reason to further quiz a young child in the hopes of finding 'evidence' that the teacher answered a call in class. Maybe a child was sick, maybe a relative was dying, maybe she was taking a call from a parent - all reasons I have answered my phone during a lesson. Luckily the children I teach are a lot more understanding of this that some posters on here.

fanjolina Fri 31-Jan-14 05:03:12

Bloody hell, the professionally offended never cease to amaze me.

And this attitude about schools should provide cameras - there's no money to do so!

Get a grip.

Euphemia Fri 31-Jan-14 06:51:52

Can I also tell you that we preach healthy eating to the children, then eat biscuits and CAKES in the staffroom?! Get us! shock

curlew Fri 31-Jan-14 06:58:00

Euphemia- you don't enforce uniform while not wearing one yourself, do you??????

OddBoots Fri 31-Jan-14 06:59:33

I have no problem with teachers having mobiles but I think the question has come about as most non-school early years settings have banned staff from having mobile phones on them at work in response to the Nottingham thing.

Teachers are trusted much more than early years practitioners.

Euphemia Fri 31-Jan-14 07:01:27

I wear different clothes every day! shock

3bunnies Fri 31-Jan-14 07:30:30

In a nursery setting seeing a child naked is quite normal I can see why mobile phones are banned. In a classroom other than when changing for PE and in reception a child is much less likely to be in such positions and I fail to get excited even if a teacher put their artwork on Facebook. Children's photos are all over the school website (anonymous and with permission). And I think we are fairly conservative - no surnames to be linked with our dc due to dh's work.

Texting and calls etc are different if they are not work related, but it would probably only bother me if I was already concerned in other ways. dd1's teacher could text all day and she would still be fab - but then because she is so fab she wouldn't dream of spending all day texting.

MiaowTheCat Fri 31-Jan-14 07:38:10

OP isn't one of the group trying to ban mobile phones on parents from our local children's centre are they? I've said point blank if they try to enforce that on parents I'll be one of the first boycotting on the principle.

OP can REALLY foam at this one - I have, on occasion on supply, while in an empty classroom at the end of the day, used my phone camera to take a photo of a particularly cool display idea to keep for future reference.

A lot of secondary schools are thinking of moving towards a 'bring your own device' scenario, so probably eventually kids and staff will all have their own iPads/laptops in school or just their smartphones and be able to access the school network, teaching resources etc in class. It's hard to see how this will work if devices are banned.
Admittedly this probably won't be happening in primaries, but the principle is the same, and there are still potential safeguarding issues.

Bloodyteenagers Fri 31-Jan-14 07:55:25

What do you prefer op?
Resources for the children to do work.. Or a camera in every class.

A camera in every class means that the money comes from the budget. There is a limited amount, and by getting cameras, depending on the school budget it could mean come January there is no more money for resources.

Also with phones/ipads, when adding to the database, there is no need to then upload onto the pc, because the info can be added straight. This means the teacher has a bit more time, to erm, teach.

Nurseries have different policies, because staff go into personal care areas and see the children undressed. So they have a blanket no phone policy.

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 31-Jan-14 09:14:43

Am mystified why it would make any difference whether a picture was taken on a phone or a digital camera. If someone wanted to use the images for immoral purposes, they could do that just as easily with a camera as with a phone. Not that there's much you could do with a picture of little Johnny's painting of Van Gogh's sunflowers ... hmm.

asandwichshort Fri 31-Jan-14 15:44:09

Personal mobiles are not allowed but specific devices are used for assessments to record childrens progress like this www.focus-education.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=66&Itemid=41

Bunnyjo Fri 31-Jan-14 16:21:49

Oh my God, teachers are allowed mobile phones? shock

Next you'll be telling me you've seen them drink alcohol on a night out...

I'm also loving the drip feed of information. Firstly you say she took photos of your DS's artwork. Then, when you don't get the reaction you were expecting from others, she's "always texting and talking calls" hmm

I very much doubt that!

cosikitty Fri 31-Jan-14 16:27:32

Why wouldn't the teacher be allowed to take a photo of a child with a phone? In our school we constantly photograph the children with an ipad or a digital camera in order to evidence work/activities or use for displays etc. What's the difference?

Dd1's teacher uses a phone quite often. The only problem I have with it is Dd1 keeps saying she wants an iPhone and iPad too grin. Apparently it works with the smart board they have in class.

emptychair Fri 31-Jan-14 20:53:41

In my current school (and the one I've just left) we are not to use our phones in the classroom when children are present for any reason. Teachers should certainly not be using personal phones to take pictures of anything in front of children, be it work or child.

All classrooms have a digital camera so there is no reason to use a phone.

Onesie Sat 01-Feb-14 06:12:19

I think it's fine for teachers to have phones and taking a photo of work is a very quick way of essential recording/documenting. It's not like she is changing nappies in private like nursery staff would. Teachers don't deal with personal care.

Obviously she needs to make phone calls and texts during her break. Receiving texts is fine as long as the kids concentration isn't broken.

lljkk Sat 01-Feb-14 06:40:59

Colleague has a phone that chirps constantly with text updates & gets on my nerves. I wouldn't like that in class.
Really don't understand the fears over pictures, people so determined to copyright their own image.

indyandlara Sat 01-Feb-14 09:44:20

Not every classroom in the UK has a digital camera. Some may but lots of schools don't. If your school provides all the IT equipment you need then great. However, lots of teachers are not in these ideal situations and try to plug the gaps using their own equipment.

TheGruffalo2 Sat 01-Feb-14 09:55:12

Yes, I went to a moderation meeting last year and was told all non-written evidence had to be photographed to be counted as valid evidence. Great, but I share a camera with two other classes. I can't really get everyone to freeze and send someone off to find the camera can I. So I use my own personal iPad, email it to my school address so it can be downloaded and printed, as only school laptops are networked to the school printer.

There are circumstances that an actual photograph of a child is important to the curriculum. Learning Journeys are full of photos of work and children and phones are an easy and portable way of having a camera facility in easy reach all the time. Some parents must send their children to far wealthier schools than any I know, we don't have the luxury of multiple cameras around the place.

TheGruffalo2 Sat 01-Feb-14 09:59:07

I agree with indyandlara - teachers plug the gap with all sorts of things from home - books, DVDs, CDs, resource books, kettles to demonstrate science, heaters when the school heating fails but we need to remain open so parents can go to work, ingredients for cooking, Christmas craft .... schools would be very different places if we only used what the HT could afford to provide.

ItsATIARA Sat 01-Feb-14 10:10:21

DS's TA showed me a video on her phone the other day of DS joining in with the others during PE. Probably wouldn't have been recognisable as participation to anyone else, but for DS it was huge progress, and she wanted to share her pride with me. If I didn't trust her to take a photo of my child then she shouldn't be in the classroom anyway.

WingsontheWind Sat 01-Feb-14 11:04:22

My friend was telling me that they are not only allowed a (switched off phone in class) but it has to be locked away in a cupboard elsewhere in the school... He has had to sign documentation to say he will do this shock

Lambsie Sat 01-Feb-14 11:42:50

I have taken phone calls in class. These were to receive medical test results where I had no choice about the timing of the calls. The alternative would have been to have several classes covered by supply staff. If I had had children I would have always kept my phone on as the office were known to not pass urgent messages on to staff.

Goodness, I live in Vietnan and both teachers and students use their phones.... to do what they wantt! Many students even upload videos on youtube..
Totally different world!

mrz Sat 01-Feb-14 15:16:35

There are a number of assessment tracking programmes that run on iphones OP and involve the teacher typing info into the phone (texting?)

Look at Orbit or 2build a profile for example

Teachers are grown ups

Looby12 Sat 01-Feb-14 15:46:42

I think it's about potential risks for both pupil and child. If personal phones are used then it opens up opportunities for problems to happen. There is no control. If you need to photograph work then use equipment provided by the school.

In my line of work we need to contact young people by text message/phone. We either use the shared work mobile or the landline, we wouldn't use our personal phones because that opens up a window for false accusations etc

I don't agree that teachers should have their personal mobile anywhere near the classroom

Looby12 Sat 01-Feb-14 15:48:32

Previous post meant pupil and teacher

mrz Sat 01-Feb-14 15:59:48

I don't think teachers are more trusted than EY practitioners but have much less opportunity to commit the type of abuse seen in Nottingham - incidentally the same ipad tracking is used by many ey practioners in the private sector

mrz Sat 01-Feb-14 16:01:30

Teachers don't have work mobiles Looby we are lucky to have a work pen and paper quite often we pay for those ourselves

spanieleyes Sat 01-Feb-14 16:03:02

I'm trying to think of what possible problems could arise from photographing children's work!

ravenAK Sat 01-Feb-14 16:09:22

Not always practical or even possible to 'use equipment provided by the school', as multiple PPs have explained.

Here's another example: I've just marked 16 year 7 books. Three students have produced work that is exemplary in varying ways (NB I'm not saying the other 13 essays are crap! grin), so I've photographed them on my phone & emailed it to my work email account, so that I can show them on my whiteboard on Monday.

This will be nice for those three kids & helpful to everyone else, as they'll be able to see exactly what I was looking for.

Unfortunately, I can't use school equipment, because I'm working at my dining room table today.

& obviously I could make a note of which books & do it - with the imaginary camera with which I have not been issued - when I arrive at school on Monday, but I won't have time, so it wouldn't happen.

Looby12 Sat 01-Feb-14 16:21:44

I don't think there is an issue photographing pupils work if the phone is not in the classroom environment. It's having personal phones or cameras in the classroom that's an issue.

In terms of the work mobile it's a cheap old style phone shared between 30 staff. It's used so that we, our employers and out service users are not in any situation of risk and we are comfortable knowing our backs are covered if anything untoward happened.

If school don't provide it the I don't think it's appropriate to use your own.

mrz Sat 01-Feb-14 16:28:47

what is the difference between photographing work in the class and photographing at home? Do you honestly think that a teacher can take indecent pictures of a child in a class of 30 kids and no one notice?

mrz Sat 01-Feb-14 16:29:31

and if I were to remove everything from my class that is my personal property there would be very little left

ravenAK Sat 01-Feb-14 16:40:45

You see the point at which I draw the line is photos of students on my own phone etc; we've been very clearly told that that mustn't happen.

So I'm doing a display of 'bookworms' in my classes, with children's faces photoshopped onto the worms, & I'm going to have to track down the dept. camera on Monday because I couldn't just have snapped the kids on my phone on Friday when the idea occurred to me...

Nor am I allowed to do the photoshopping at home rather than school, & I definitely can't get dh to help me...which is a shame, given that I'm shit at photoshop & he's brilliant, but tis the rules.

Taking pictures of work on my phone though? That's fine. Only reason I can think it wouldn't be is if they've included personal information.

Looby12 Sat 01-Feb-14 16:42:02

I'm not saying there is a problem with your personal property being in the class or taking photos of childrens work, its the fact that there is a personal phone with the ability to take photos of a child in the classroom.

I'm fairly sure in the incidents that have occurred the rest of the staff were of the same mindset of yourself that it was not going to happen.

If there are no rules on having the equipment near the children then there is potential for abuse. This doesn't just put the kids at risk, it puts you at risk as the teacher from false accusations.

This is the point of having a risk assessment.

In the case of the op nobody has mentioned whether the school has completed a risk assessment. The teacher might be within their rules on using it in the classroom.

If a risk assessment has been completed, using your own camera might be identified as acceptable and there will then be clear instructions on the use of your mobile and everyone would be clear on what can be photographed and what can't.

If it hasn't even been risk assessed at all then this is ridiculous and should be brought up with the school because activities are taking place that the head teacher might not even be aware of just because the teacher has decided it is acceptable.

partystress Sat 01-Feb-14 16:43:59

As a teacher, I would love it if they just said no photography in the classroom - there is a lot of pressure to get photos of children doing activities or of different stages of their work-in-progress into their books, and printing/cutting/sticking little pictures into 30 books is mind-numbing. Even with older kids who can do the sticking themselves.

However, I don't really get the whole personal vs school camera argument. Many teachers take school laptops home (planning and resource making wouldn't get finished otherwise). Also, SD cards are so tiny, someone determined to get photos for their own use at home could just switch cards, or they could email images from school servers to their private email.

What will really make any dodgy types that there might be out there happy is if they get rid of TAs... Far more time will be spent with no other adult present.

ravenAK Sat 01-Feb-14 16:49:10

Yes, I've been on the school network all day, merrily downloading data on kids.

Tricky to mark books & write reports without it, I find.

So every photo I - or anyone else who works at my school - has ever taken of a student is readily accessible to me from this very laptop.

Personal phones in the classroom are the least of anyone's worries.

mrz Sat 01-Feb-14 16:59:01

Looby as I said before schools use pupil tracking programmes that run on iphones and rely on the good will of staff to use their own phones!!

spanieleyes Sat 01-Feb-14 17:00:17

We have school laptops and school ipads, both of which we take home to work with, otherwise the work wouldn't get done! I'm not sure why taking a photograph on a school camera or phone is any less open to abuse than taking one on a personal phone. Surely the photograph could be transmitted anywhere in either case?

TheGruffalo2 Sat 01-Feb-14 17:07:38

I understand about safeguarding (I'm e-safety coordinator and SDP) but if I wanted to do anything untoward with a photograph how is it any different if I take the photo on my school iPad and email it to myself at home (so quick and easy to do!) or take it on my own phone? The only way would be to never photograph a child and that is really sad.

Euphemia Sat 01-Feb-14 17:14:10

My classroom computer is older than the oldest pupil in the school. My P1 pupils have MUCH better computing equipment at home than we have at school. sad

We're slated to get some notebook computers soon. Ten for a school with 70 pupils. confused Before any child gets their hands on one, there needs to be one each for the class teachers (to replace the current relics), one for the staffroom, one for the office, one for the HT, one for the nursery and one for the extra classroom which accommodates school roll fluctuations.

10 - 8 = 2 sad

adoptmama Sat 01-Feb-14 17:42:51

I think that what also needs to be remembered is that you don't need a camera to abuseba child! Having a camera does not make abuse more likely. Abusers are the problem not normal teachers doing normal things.

TheGruffalo2 Sat 01-Feb-14 17:45:15

What sensible words adoptmama.

Euphemia Sat 01-Feb-14 17:56:59

I think the main issue with phones, iPads, etc. in the classroom is unrestricted access to the internet open to pupils. That is, there's a danger that pupils could get their hands on teachers' devices and access inappropriate material.

If I wanted personal access to inappropriate images of children, or to upload these online, it's a small matter to take them on the school camera, transfer them to my memory stick, take it home and upload the photos to the internet from there. I could do it in one step from my own phone, but if uploading such images was what I wanted to do, taking a couple of extra steps to do it wouldn't deter me.

adoptmama Sat 01-Feb-14 20:00:32

Never heard of a single case of a child getting hold of a teachers phone, ipad etc and gaining "unrestricted access to the internet."

Have however seen many a child bring an internet enabled phone into school, despite rules to the contrary. Query it with parents only to be told wee Jimmy needs his phone in case mummy needs to contact him.

Never seen a teacher use a phone or other device in an inappropriate manner in school. Seen many a child try to take inappropriate photos or videos. Know a parent who ended up under police investigation because wee Jimmy used his phone on a school trip to take photos of friends in showers and these were reported by repair shop (because wee Jimmy also broke said phone on school trip!)

I think the main issue with teachers having their own ipads, phones etc in the classroom is it gives people yet another thing to bash us about.

Euphemia Sat 01-Feb-14 22:07:00

Never heard of a single case of a child getting hold of a teachers phone, ipad etc and gaining "unrestricted access to the internet."

Me neither, but this is the justification I was given by the HT in a local authority I previously worked for.

mrz Sun 02-Feb-14 07:39:08

I use my iphone in the class as a music player - for example I have all the backing tracks for the nativity songs in my playlist - music for dough gym - music for dance etc should I stop?

hulahoopsilove Wed 05-Feb-14 16:22:48

mobile v school camera = photos can be sent, emailed etc... into the wrong hands

Hulababy Wed 05-Feb-14 17:01:55

school camera's CD card slipped into pocket, taken home = could get into wrong hands

school camera uploaded onto network = can then be printed, emailed or whatever = could get into wrong hands

slip own sd card into school camera, take home = could get into wrong hands

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If someone really is that way inclined and really wanted to it would all be easy enough to do tbh.

But it is a very rare case indeed where a teacher or TA would do anything dodgy at all with a photo of a child. Hence why it isn't happening all the time already.

spanieleyes Wed 05-Feb-14 17:04:27

I hadn't realised there was an underground trade in photographs of children's artwork confused

newbieman1978 Wed 05-Feb-14 17:38:05

Couple of points.

1. A teacher is a trusted and well vetted professional
2. Much of the technology in school is available remotely ie. home.
3. If the said teacher was going to do anything untoward then I'm sure they may be more discreet.
4. Technology is an increasingly used tool with far more positives than negatives.

Of course professionals have different standards however the vast majority of teachers are doing their job to the best of their abilities.

I'd be very careful taking the word of a young child when hypothesising what is going on within a classromm. A text tone "all the time" may actaully be once in a blue moon. How do you know it's a text. It could be a timer used for good reason.

The phone my be being used well within school guidelines/policy. Remember the classroom is a teachers workplace and as such safeguards are in place to protect the "workers" rights. Your childs teacher may have a legitimate reason for using their phone at work.

If you have valid concerns about your childs safety or the standard of education they are receiving take it up with the school. However be prepared to deminish relationships if you go off half cocked.

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