A Closed Circuit Television System (CCTVS) is installed in St. Coen’s National School, Merrymeeting, Rathnew, Co. Wicklow. New CCTV systems may be introduced by the Board of Management if it sees fit to do so and if it is warranted. The system’s operation will be reviewed regularly by the Board of Management.


The purpose of this policy is to regulate the use of Closed Circuit Television and its associated technology in the monitoring of the external environs of the premises under the remit of St. Coen’s National School.

CCTV systems are installed in premises for the purpose of enhancing security of the building and its associated equipment as well as creating a mindfulness among the occupants, at any one time, that a surveillance security system is in operation within and/or in the external environs of the premises during both the daylight and night hours each day.

CCTV surveillance at this school is intended for the purposes of:

  • protecting the school buildings and school assets, both during and after school hours;
  • promoting the health and safety of staff, pupils and visitors;
  • preventing bullying;
  • reducing the incidence of crime and anti-social behaviour (including theft and vandalism);
  • supporting the Gardaí in a bid to deter and detect crime;
  • assisting in identifying, apprehending and prosecuting offenders;
  • ensuring that the school rules are respected so that the school can be properly managed.


This policy relates directly to the location and use of CCTV and the monitoring, recording and subsequent use of such recorded material.


St. Coen’s National School, as the corporate body, has a statutory responsibility for the protection of its property, equipment and other plant as well providing a sense of security to its employees, students and invitees to its premises. The school owes a duty of care under the provisions of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and associated legislation and utilises a CCTV system and its associated monitoring and recording equipment as an added mode of security and surveillance for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life of the school community by integrating the best practices governing the public and private surveillance of its premises.

The use of the CCTV system will be conducted in a professional, ethical and legal manner and any diversion of the use of CCTV security technologies for other purposes is prohibited by this policy, e.g. CCTV will not be used for monitoring employee performance.

Information obtained through the CCTV system may only be released when authorised by the Principal, following consultation with the Chairperson of the Board of Management. Any requests for CCTV recordings/images from An Garda Síochána will be fully acceded to.

CCTV monitoring of public areas for security purposes will be conducted in a manner consistent with all existing policies adopted by the school, including the Dignity at Work Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy, Code of Behaviour and other relevant policies, including the provisions set down in equality and other educational and related legislation.

This policy prohibits monitoring based on the characteristics and classifications contained in equality and other related legislation e.g. race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability etc.

Video monitoring of public areas for security purposes within school premises is limited to uses that do not violate the individual’s reasonable expectation to privacy. Information obtained in violation of this policy may not be used in a disciplinary proceeding against an employee of the school or a student attending the school.

The CCTV system and its associated equipment are required to be compliant with this policy. Recognisable images captured by CCTV systems are personal data. They are therefore subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003, and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018.


Section 2(1) (c) (iii) of the Data Protection Acts requires that data is "adequate, relevant and not excessive" for the purpose for which it is collected. This means that the Board of Management needs to be able to justify the obtaining and use of personal data by means of a CCTV system. The use of CCTV to control the perimeter of the school buildings for security purposes has been deemed to be justified by the Board of Management. The system is intended to capture images of intruders or of individuals damaging property or removing goods without authorisation.


The location of cameras is a key consideration. Use of CCTV to monitor areas where individuals would have a reasonable expectation of privacy would be difficult to justify. The Board of Management has endeavoured to select locations for the installation of CCTCV cameras which are least intrusive to protect the privacy of individuals. Cameras placed so as to record external areas are positioned in such a way as to prevent or minimise recording of passers-by or of another person's private property.

CCTV Video Monitoring and Recording of Public Areas may include the following:

  • Protection of school buildings and property: The building’s perimeter, entrances and exits
  • Monitoring of Access Control Systems: Monitor and record restricted access areas at entrances to buildings and other areas
  • Verification of Security Alarms: Intrusion alarms, exit door controls, external alarms
  • Video Patrol of Public Areas: Parking areas, Main entrance/exit gates, Traffic Control
  • Criminal Investigations (carried out by An Garda Síochána): Robbery, burglary and theft surveillance


This school will not engage in covert surveillance.

Where An Garda Síochána requests to carry out covert surveillance on school premises, such covert surveillance may require the consent of a judge. Accordingly, any such request made by An Garda Síochána will be requested in writing and the school will seek legal advice.


The Principal will provide a copy of this CCTV Policy on request to staff, students, parents and visitors to the school. The policy may also be viewed on the school website This policy describes the purpose and location of CCTV monitoring, a contact number for those wishing to discuss CCTV monitoring and guidelines for its use.

The location of CCTV cameras will also be indicated to the Board of Management.


Section 2(1)(c)(iv) of the Data Protection Acts states that data "shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for" the purposes for which it was obtained. A data controller needs to be able to justify this retention period. For a normal CCTV security system, it would be difficult to justify retention beyond a month (28 days), except where the images identify an issue, such as a break-in or theft and those particular images/recordings are retained specifically in the context of an investigation/prosecution of that issue.

Accordingly, the images captured by the CCTV system will be retained for a maximum of 28 days, except where the image identifies an issue and is retained specifically in the context of an investigation/prosecution of that issue.

The images/recordings will be stored in a secure environment with a log of access kept. Access will be restricted to authorised personnel. Supervising the access and maintenance of the CCTV System is the responsibility of the Principal. The Principal may delegate the administration of the CCTV System to the Deputy Principal or Assistant Principals if the need arises. In certain circumstances, the recordings may also be viewed by other individuals in order to achieve the objectives set out above. Such individuals may include the Gardaí, the Deputy Principal, other members of the teaching staff, representatives of the Department of Education and Skills, representatives of Tusla and/or the parent of a recorded student). When CCTV recordings are being viewed, access will be limited to authorised individuals on a need-to-know basis.

Tapes/DVDs will be stored in a locked, secure filing cabinet in the Principal’s office, with a log of access to tapes kept. Access will be restricted to authorised personnel. Similar measures will be employed when using disk storage, with automatic logs of access to the images created.


Tapes/DVDs storing the recorded footage and the monitoring equipment will be securely stored as described above. Unauthorised access to that area will not be permitted at any time. The area will be locked when not occupied by authorised personnel. A log of access to tapes/images will be maintained.

Access to the CCTV system and stored images will be restricted to authorised personnel only i.e. Principal of school or other members of staff as described above.

In relevant circumstances, CCTV footage may be accessed:

  • By An Garda Síochána where the school is required by law to make a report regarding the commission of a suspected crime; or
  • Following a request by An Garda Síochána when a crime or suspected crime has taken place and/or when it is suspected that illegal/anti-social behaviour is taking place on the school’s property; or
  • To Tusla and/or any other statutory body charged with child safeguarding; or
  • To assist the Principal in establishing facts in cases of unacceptable student behaviour, in which case, the parents/guardians will be informed; or
  • To data subjects (or their legal representatives), pursuant to an access request where the time, date and location of the recordings is furnished to the school; or
  • To individuals (or their legal representatives) subject to a court order; or
  • To the school insurance company where the insurance company requires same in order to pursue a claim for damage done to the insured property.

Requests by An Garda Síochána:

Information obtained through video monitoring will only be released when authorised by the Principal following consultation with the Chairperson of the Board of Management. If An Garda Síochána request CCTV images for a specific investigation, that request will be acceded to.

Access requests:

On written request, any person whose image has been recorded has a right to be given a copy of the information recorded which relates to them, provided always that such an image/recording exists i.e. has not been deleted and provided also that an exemption/prohibition does not apply to the release. Where the image/recording identifies another individual, those images may only be released where they can be redacted/anonymised so that the other person is not identified or identifiable. To exercise their right of access, a data subject must make an application in writing to the school Principal. The school may charge up to €6.35 for responding to such a request and must respond within 40 days.

Access requests must be made to the Principal of the school.

A person requesting access to CCTV images should provide all the necessary information to assist in locating the CCTV recorded data, such as the date, time and location of the recording. If the image is of such poor quality as not to clearly identify an individual, that image may not be considered to be personal data and may not be handed over by the school.

In giving a person a copy of their data, the school may provide a single still picture or series of still pictures, a tape or a disk with relevant images. However, other images of other individuals will be obscured before the data is released.


The Principal will:

  • Ensure that the use of the CCTV system is implemented in accordance with the policy set down by the Board of Management.
  • Oversee and co-ordinate the use of CCTV monitoring for safety and security purposes within the school premises.
  • Ensure that the existing CCTV monitoring system is evaluated for compliance with this policy.
  • Ensure that the CCTV monitoring at the school is consistent with the highest standards and protections.
  • Review camera locations and be responsible for the release of any information or recorded CCTV materials stored in compliance with this policy.
  • Maintain a record of access to or the release of tapes or any material recorded or stored in the system.
  • Ensure that monitoring recorded tapes are not duplicated for release.
  • Ensure that the perimeter of view from fixed location cameras conforms to this policy.
  • Give consideration to both students and staff feedback/complaints regarding possible invasion of privacy or confidentiality due to the location of a particular CCTV camera or associated equipment.
  • Ensure that all areas being monitored are not in breach of an enhanced expectation of the privacy of individuals within the school and be mindful that no such infringement is likely to take place.
  • Co-operate with the Health & Safety Officer in reporting on the CCTV system in operation in the school.
  • Ensure that external cameras are non-intrusive in terms of their positions and views of neighbouring residential housing and comply with the principle of “Reasonable Expectation of Privacy”.
  • Ensure that monitoring tapes are stored in a secure place with access by authorised personnel only.
  • Ensure that images recorded on tapes/DVDs/digital recordings are stored for a period not longer than 28 days and are then erased unless required as part of a criminal investigation or court proceedings (criminal or civil) or other bona fide use as approved by the Chairperson of the Board.
  • Ensure that when a zoom facility on a camera is being used, there is a second person present with the operator of the camera to guarantee that there is no unwarranted invasion of privacy.
  • Ensure that camera control is solely to monitor suspicious behaviour, criminal damage etc. and not to monitor individual characteristics.
  • Ensure that camera control is not infringing an individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy in public areas.
  • Ensure that where An Garda Síochána request to set up mobile video equipment for criminal investigations, legal advice has been obtained and such activities have the approval of the Chairperson of the Board.


The school CCTV system is not controlled by a security company. It was installed by ETL Security who assist Gardaí in retrieving footage.

The following applies:

  • The security company will give the school all reasonable assistance to deal with any subject access request made under Section 4 of the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 which may be received by the school within the statutory time-frame (generally 40 days).
  • Security companies that place and operate cameras on behalf of clients are considered to be "Data Processors." As data processors, they operate under the instruction of data controllers (their clients). Sections 2(2) and 2C of the Data Protection Acts place a number of obligations on data processors. These include having appropriate security measures in place to prevent unauthorised access to, or unauthorised alteration, disclosure or destruction of, the data, in particular where the processing involves the transmission of data over a network and against all unlawful forms of processing. This obligation can be met by having appropriate access controls to image storage or having robust encryption where remote access to live recording is permitted. Staff of the security company have been made aware of their obligations relating to the security of data.


The policy will be reviewed and evaluated from time to time. Ongoing review and evaluation will take cognisance of changing information or guidelines (e.g. from the Data Protection Commissioner, An Garda Síochána, Department of Education and Skills, national management bodies, legislation and feedback from parents/guardians, students, staff and others.

The date from which the policy will apply is the date of adoption by the Board of Management. Implementation of the policy will be monitored by the Principal of the school on behalf of the Board.

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on: 25/2/2021.

Date of Review:

This policy will be reviewed in September 2023

Mary Murphy
Chairperson BOM
Date: 25/2/2021

Lee Kavanagh
Principal/Secretary BOM
Date: 25/2/2021


Definitions of words/phrases used in relation to the protection of personal data and referred to in the text of the policy.

CCTV: Closed-circuit television is the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place on a limited set of monitors. The images may then be recorded on video tape or DVD or other digital recording mechanism.

The Data Protection Acts: The Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 confer rights on individuals as well as responsibilities on those persons handling, processing, managing and controlling personal data. All school/ETB staff must comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Acts when collecting and storing personal information. This applies to personal information relating both to employees of the organisation and individuals who interact with the organisation.

Data: Information in a form that can be processed. It includes automated or electronic data (any information on computer or information recorded with the intention of putting it on computer) and manual data (information that is recorded as part of a relevant filing system or with the intention that it should form part of a relevant filing system).

Personal Data: Data relating to a living individual who is or can be identified either from the data or from the data in conjunction with other information that is in, or is likely to come into, the possession of the data controller.

Access Request: This is where a person makes a request to the organisation for the disclosure of their personal data under Section 3 and/or Section 4 of the Data Protection Acts.

Data Processing: performing any operation or set of operations on data, including:

  • Obtaining, recording or keeping the data;
  • Collecting, organising, storing, altering or adapting the data;
  • Retrieving, consulting or using the data;
  • Disclosing the data by transmitting, disseminating or otherwise making it available;
  • Aligning, combining, blocking, erasing or destroying the data.

Data Subject: an individual who is the subject of personal data.

Data Controller: a person who (either alone or with others) controls the contents and use of personal data.

Data Processor: a person who processes personal information on behalf of a data controller, but does not include an employee of a data controller who processes such data in the course of their employment, for example, this might mean an employee of an organisation to which the data controller out-sources work. The Data Protection Acts place responsibilities on such entities in relation to their processing of the data.


Before a school installs a new CCTV system, it is recommended that a documented privacy impact assessment is carried out. A school which properly conducts such an assessment is less likely to introduce a system that contravenes the provisions of the Data Protection Acts 1988 & 2003, and the GDPR 2018. This is an important procedure to adopt as a contravention may result in action being taking against a school by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, or may expose a school to a claim for damages from a student.

Some of the points that might be included in a Privacy Impact Assessment are:

  • What is the school’s purpose for using CCTV images? What are the issues/problems it is meant to address?
  • Is the system necessary to address a pressing need, such as staff and student safety or crime prevention?
  • Are the CCTV cameras intended to operate on the outside of the premises only?
  • Is it justified under the circumstances?
  • Is it proportionate to the problem it is designed to deal with?
  • Is it intended that CCTV cameras will operate inside of the building?
  • Are internal CCTV cameras justified under the circumstances?
  • Are internal CCTV cameras proportionate to the problem they are designed to deal with?
  • What are the benefits to be gained from its use?
  • Can CCTV systems realistically deliver these benefits? Can less privacy-intrusive solutions, such as improved lighting, achieve the same objectives?
  • Does the school need images of identifiable individuals, or could the system use other images which are not capable of identifying the individual?
  • Will the system being considered deliver the desired benefits now and remain suitable in the future?
  • What future demands may arise for wider use of images and how will they be addressed?
  • Is the school the data controller for the entire CCTV system?
  • Where a management company is in place, is the school satisfied that it complies with the Data Protection Acts with regard to the processing of images of staff, students and visitors to your school captured on any CCTV systems under its management?
  • What are the views of those who will be under CCTV surveillance?
  • What could be done to minimise intrusion for those whose images may be captured, particularly if specific concerns have been expressed?
  • How have staff, students and visitors been assured by the School that they will not be monitored and that the CCTV system will be used only for the stated purposes?
  • Does the school’s policy on the use of CCTV make it clear that staff (teaching and non-teaching) will not be monitored for performance or conduct purposes?
  • Have the views of staff and students regarding the location of cameras been taken into account?
  • Can the location of each internal camera be justified in accordance with the overall purpose for the use of the CCTV system?
  • Has appropriate signage been erected at the location of each internal camera indicating that recording is taking place and outlining the purpose of such recording?
  • Who will have access to the system and recordings/images?
  • What security measures are in place to protect the CCTV system and recordings/images?
  • Are those who will have authorised access to the system and recordings/images clear about their responsibilities?
  • Are the camera monitors kept out of view of staff, students and visitors and is access to the camera monitors restricted to a limited number of staff on a ‘need to know’ basis?
  • Is the room which houses the camera monitors and the CCTV system securely locked when unattended?
  • Does the school have a procedure in place to ensure that recordings/images are erased or deleted as soon as the retention period (28 days) has expired?
  • Does the school have a procedure in place for handling requests for access to recordings/images from An Garda Síochána?
  • Will appropriate notices be in place to ensure that individuals know that they are being monitored?
  • Does the school have a data protection policy? Has it been updated to take account of the introduction of a CCTV system?
  • Does the school have a procedure in place to handle access requests seeking a copy of images recorded by the CCTV system (within the statutory timeframe of forty days)?
  • Has the right of access been communicated to staff, students and visitors?
  • Has the school communicated its policy on the use of CCTV to staff, students and visitors and how has this been done?
  • How are new students and new staff informed of the school’s policy on the use of CCTV?