CCTV in examination halls?

The BBC reported moves to increase the use of CCTV in schools. Apparently in addition to CCTV to monitor behaviour and teaching the Examination Officers Association is planning to test out CCTV. They hope to combat exam cheats  who it is claimed could be using their own technologies.

If you’re not sufficiently concerned at these trends read the Arch Blog: Toilet Lockdown and Juggling with Eels

 I was doing an interview yesterday on the use of CCTV in schools, and had a fascinating discussion with the programme researchers. Apparently one school they visited (a state-of the-art academy) is so awash with new technology that they can lock every door in the building at the touch of a button, instantly transforming classrooms into communal cells and preventing anyone escaping out of the front door. They routinely lock the toilets during lesson-times – visits to the toilet are only allowed during break times. It seems it’s not only the Freedom of Information Act that has passed schools by. Human Rights, anyone? Hands up if you’ve ever heard of them.

We’ve built an educational system based on the wrong values. Security fences, entry systems, metal detectors, CCTV, police and security guards give testimony to the monster we’ve created. The twenty first century deserves better than this. If we had educational landscape based on invitation – invitational learning and assessment we would immediately change the culture. Learners with the support of others deserve the opportunity to map out their own learning pathways and access assessment and accreditation through a variety of methods when they are ready.

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