A FATHER has spoken of his outrage at learning CCTV has been installed in the communal area of toilets at his daughter’s secondary school – saying it is a violation of privacy, especially for girls.

Parent Andy Black has demanded the cameras, installed at Framwellgate School Durham during the school holiday, be removed.

He said: “It’s a violation of privacy for the children. We were not consulted.

“They say it’s to prevent bullying. If they want to stop bullying put cameras on the outside of the door seeing who is going in and out.

“They don’t have to put it in the bathroom area, specially for the girls who would consider that an off-limit sanctuary.

“My daughter is 14. and she is mortified at the thought that the school is monitoring her behaviour in the bathrooms. She said she just won’t go to the toilets at school at all and wait until she returns home.”

Mr Black said there were also concerns over who is monitoring the footage and how secure it is.

“The potential is there is someone watching them as parents we have no idea who they are is just morally way off the compass. There has got to a line they don’t cross,” he said. “

But headteacher Andy Byers has defended the move saying it is not considered a breach of privacy and the measures are in place primarily for the safety of children – to prevent bullying and vandalism.

He said: “The toilets are pretty much the only unsupervised area of the school where staff very rarely go and we have a duty of care to safeguard young people and keep them safe and that includes stopping bullying and damage and vandalism.

“There are a lot of young people who have told us they are scared to go to the toilets because of all the students hanging around in there.

“Coupled to that we have spend a lot of money this summer refurbishing the toilets which have been damaged over a number of years.”

In the boys', the urinals have been removed and replaced with cubicles "to afford students extra privacy".

He added: “We are not placing CCTV anywhere where privacy might be breached. They are simply outside the toilets.

“They are not pointing in the cubicles where it needs to be private. They are pointing at wash basins, basically, and we don’t believe that is a breach of privacy.

“We believe the safety aspects will be beneficial and will outweigh any concerns.”

He said the school was not required to consult as it is an operational matter and no guidelines or rules are being broken.

Mr Byers said: “There clear rules on the CCTV images.

“We don’t keep any images. If we keep an image we have to inform the parents that we are keeping them. The CCTV will not be routinely monitored. It (the footage) will only be reviewed if there is a problem.

Mr Black said he has written to the school, saying it does not have permission to film his daughter.