Parent X has safeguarding concerns about their child’s school. They have provided an AngelSense tracker to their child (primary age). Does the ...
Parent X has safeguarding concerns about their child’s school. They have provided an AngelSense tracker to their child (primary age). Does the school have a right to object and if so can they exclude the child if X insists the child wears it?
- 1 Yes
- 0 No
- 1 Other
- 07 Nov 2022
Too fact specific, I can't generalise.:
I would add to this that a school should not exclude a pupil for issues relating to the behaviour of a parent. Therefore, if the decision to use a tracker is one made by the parent (as opposed to being driven by the pupil) then this should be considered by the school when deciding what, if any, action to take.
- 05 Nov 2022
A fascinating (and pretty niche) question from Parent X.
Quick background: An AngelSense tracker is a small device that listens to what is going on where the child is and transmits it to the parent. There is also an option for the parent to talk to the child. It costs £300+ per year.
Can they object? Yes. They'd add listening devices to a list of banned items in their behaviour policy. Typically, the head can make this decision - sometimes they need governor approval, but such a small tweak could easily get governor approval within a few days.
They may already have something into their safeguarding policy that allows them to object. It's probably covered by the aims of their policy, even if listening devices aren't specifically named.
Can they exclude? I suppose yes. For example if:
- School have told you they do not allow them. They told the child as well (assuming the child can understand this).
- You send the child in with the device.
- School find it.
Assuming they've said it's not allowed, then the exclusion could be for "use, or threat of use of a prohibited item that is prohibited by the school's behaviour policy."
But it would be a fairly harsh approach considering the ethos of most schools. Most heads would first want to address it with you (as you'd sent the device in), rather than go straight for sanctioning the child.
Is there a bigger picture? It's really difficult when you are worried about your child's wellbeing at school. The safeguarding concerns you have may be legitimate. That said, this seems like you're unlikely for the child to be allowed to have the device in school. You'll probably use up a vast amount of goodwill and energy arguing your case - and might still not get what you want. The question doesn't give us every detail but consider if it's worth ditching the AngelSense idea and trying to find a Plan B.
If you do send child with the AngelSense, be prepared for potentially hostile conversations if other parents learn you've been secretly listening to their child in school.
Finally, the moment you intend to record anything from the device, you need to read about data protection laws (start with the Information Commissioner's website).
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