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to be a bit worried about school tactics?

(22 Posts)
missusmrs Sat 17-Nov-12 20:57:35

DS 1 aged 4 is at nursery attached to excellent local London school, has settled in well and formed good attachments to lovely teachers and classmates.

2 weeks ago he mentioned that a toy got broke, it was a toy belonging to his key workers DD when I asked if she was cross it was broken he said no, she said when would look at the camera when they went home and know who did it, I quizzed a bit on what camera etc but didn't get much info he had no idea where it was or couldn't describe it.

Last night, out of the blue, he asked if his class teacher had talked to me about him, when I said no and asked why, the same story came out but regarding a different incident, another toy broke, another threat that teachers would look at camera and talk to all their parent and find out who it was, and they were just waiting for that person to say sorry. DS was upset and worried, I gently talked it through i.e did he break it - NO, did he know who did - NO. he continued to be upset saying we have to find out who did it so the teachers know.

This has unnereved me quite a bit and I'm sure its not normal, buts he's my first DC in education so I have no idea of tactics etc. It just seems a totally inappropriate way of dealing with bad behaviour from 3/4 year olds?

Looking for some input - normal and shut up? or does it need bringing up with school?

Svrider Sat 17-Nov-12 20:59:59

Wow, this sounds totally ott to me angry
Surely the cameras are for SAFETY not this?
I'd be looking elsewhere for child care tbh

BlueberryHill Sat 17-Nov-12 21:04:05

Erm, I'd be concerned, agree with SVRider, cameras are for safety and shouldn't they be supervising so know who is doing what with which toy. Plus childrens toys shouldn't be brought in, precisely because of this.

Talk to them and see if this is correct. Discipline should be there and then for children on this age, not a hanging on awaiting the results of a forensic investigation.

missusmrs Sat 17-Nov-12 21:06:20

tbh I don't even know if there are cameras - are cameras standard in UK classrooms? I have heard of them in private daycare nursery where parents can log on and see babies etc.........I would expect cameras in corridors and public spaces etc but didn't know they are in classrooms and used for behaviour modification.....

BlueberryHill Sat 17-Nov-12 21:07:57

I have never seen cameras in any of my DCs nurseries or schools. If they are it is for safety only, never finding out which child broke a toy.

starfishmummy Sat 17-Nov-12 21:09:27

I think it sounds like it could be a tactic to get the person who broke the toy to own up, and there is no camera - but I think you need to have a chat to them about it.

cozietoesie Sat 17-Nov-12 21:11:57

Ask the nursery.

CCTV and data protection

grin

PS- I'd email them. It's a good record.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 17-Nov-12 21:15:03

I would find another nursery.

cozietoesie Sat 17-Nov-12 21:20:26

May not be necessary just for that. Most people who install CCTV haven't the first clue what their obligations are. They just get them put in for whatever reason (and from whatever funding) and then some bright spark says 'Oh we could have a look at the camera for.....'

Worth asking them about it without a doubt. Odds are the school will have them as well.

MrsCantSayAnything Sat 17-Nov-12 21:23:13

I agree with sock you don't threaten tiny children with CCTV! They're almost toddlers still!

Go in there and demand to know what was said and tell them you're HOPPING about them frightening DS. Poor thing.

Enfyshedd Sat 17-Nov-12 21:31:26

I was on the committe for a private members club and it came to light that the bar manager was docking staff wages for fag breaks - he was checking the CCTV to check when staff were going outside for a smoke. There was a massive row over it as it was an abuse of the system and in breach of DPA regulations, and the CCTV code was changed so the manager no longer had access to it.

I'd speak to the staff and ask them what's going on as your son's mentioned CCTV twice.

steppemum Sat 17-Nov-12 21:36:22

cameras in ul schools are not normal, and I think you should know they are there if they are.

Also, even if cameras are there, this is very odd way of dealing wiht it. Incidents at this age should be dealt with at the time clearly, consequence then and there (eg, removed from activity, timeout) and then everyonemoves on. Holding consequence to next day is not age appropriate

very odd behaviour from key workers. This may not be what the nursery would endorse, so definitely ask.
I would ask 'innocently' oh ds was mentioning cameras. Do you have cameras? and go on from there depending on answers. more likely to get results than going in with guns blazing

missusmrs Sat 17-Nov-12 21:37:13

Thanks for feedback, I knew it my heart it was wrong, this is an excellent school and he has had tremendous support settling in, we have applied for it as his first choice for reception. I have just been completely thrown with this 'scare the kids into admission tactic' - brings back 'lovely' memories of the tactics used by the Irish catholic nuns involved in my school days - although CCTV was but a futuristic dream!

Meandmycats Sat 17-Nov-12 21:38:53

I can practically guarantee that there are no cameras. I have personally never used this tactic, but have worked in schools where it is common. Something happens and it isn't clear who is to blame. So adult says 'right, that's ok, we'll check the cameras and find out who it was and then they'll be in more trouble for not owning up.' Usually at that point the child owns up and the matter can be dealt with. There are no cameras - the children just think there are.

I don't really like it personally, as it only takes one child to be stubborn and not own up and the whole lie falls to pieces! Plus, as in your child's case, it worries some children unnecessarily.

cozietoesie Sat 17-Nov-12 21:39:19

You absolutely should be informed if they're there. (What I said about most people not knowing their obligations.) You can't expect pre-school kids to read any notices that might have been put up - even if they had been put up.

It may be that they'll refer you to some bland para in an old newsletter talking about 'enhancing security'. Don't take that lying down if they try to fob you off with it. Persist. Gently, perhaps - but persist.

cozietoesie Sat 17-Nov-12 21:41:13

Sorry Meandmycats. I've known schools which did have cameras and did use them to identify miscreants. Wrongly as it happens - but they did do it.

Fairyegg Sat 17-Nov-12 21:43:26

I doubt there are cameras, you would have been told if they were. I bet your ds teacher is saying that to try and get the child to own up. My ds (5) teacher told his class that there were invisible cameras everywhere that father Christmas watches to check if children are being good or bad. His behaviiour has improved loads :-). I wouldn't read to much into it.

cozietoesie Sat 17-Nov-12 21:51:17

From the ICO 2012 report in which they asked 400 schools in 9 LA areas to complete a questionnaire on information handling.

'......About half the schools used CCTV. Most of these had external
cameras only, although a few also had extensive internal coverage.
Their procedures for storing recordings and giving staff access to
images varied greatly, with 15% of schools saying they had no set
period for keeping recordings.......'

Just extend that a little to all the LA areas?

blanksquit Sat 17-Nov-12 22:54:35

Our nursery (not attached to a school) did have cameras but it was so that working parents could log in and see their dc at play.

I think it's a bit odd that they are using it as a threat in this way and I'd probably have a word about it if your ds is upset.

Also, toys get broken. It's not usually intentional. Seems a bit OTT to be asking the culprit to own up and apologise. I could understand it for someone doing something deliberate - like writing on the wall. But broken toy? All a bit odd.

OpheliaPayneAgain Sat 17-Nov-12 23:46:14

I don't know any school that doesnt have CCTV on premises, either outside for security or inside the corridors and it is more prevalent in classrooms now school are becoming academy converters.

Class room cameras are supposed to be for staff training purposes.

missnevermind Sat 17-Nov-12 23:53:49

I worked with a teacher in a reception class that would tell the class that the head had cameras and could look to see what had happened and who was missbehaving.
We had a child that was a fire starter, only at home - never on the school premises, she asked him to tell her where he kept the lighter in his bedroom because the head could look and see from her camera where it was anyway so he might as well tell her now.
I couldnt believe it when it worked.

MrsCantSayAnything Sun 18-Nov-12 02:52:34

Miss shock my DD is 4 and began reception this year...she's been saying "I have a camera in my brain...I just need to look back and see...." to me in various situations.

Could that be a teacher saying it do you thnk?

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