CCTV used to ‘spy’ on teachers, union warns


Teachers are increasingly concerned about the use of CCTV and video equipment to “spy on” their lessons, a teaching union has warned.

A survey of 1,476 teachers by the NASUWT union found that 8 per cent had CCTV in their classroom.

Of those teachers that had CCTV, 87 per cent said they could not switch it off and 84 per cent said it was constantly recording.

Sixty-three per cent of those that had CCTV said it was introduced “because of pupil safety” and 52 per cent said it was for staff safety. Seven per cent said it was to monitor teacher performance.

The NASUWT has described the use of CCTV to monitor teachers as “professionally demeaning”.

One respondent to the survey said evidence from CCTV had been used against them after they restrained a student who had assaulted them.

Another said a private conversation in the staff pigeon-hole room had been recorded, after which a member of staff was “hauled in front of the head teacher” about the conversation.

Chris Keates, the union’s general secretary, said: “Which other professionals go to work knowing that day-in and day-out their every move doing their job is being filmed, not for their safety and protection, but to catch them out?”

Meanwhile, a separate survey by the union has found almost one in four teachers had personally brought in food for hungry pupils. Fifty-six per cent said their school had given food to pupils and 69 per cent said they had seen pupils coming to school hungry.

Some 32 per cent said they had taught pupils who were living in temporary accommodation such as B&Bs and hostels.

One respondent to the survey said: “We are in a leafy rural area and still have children whose families depend on food banks. Changes to benefits have had a major effect on local families and a direct impact on children’s ability to access education.”




Yank Their Chains: April Fools’ Day Blogging

The Daily Post

Washing_of_the_Lions In the 1800s, dedicated jokesters printed official-looking tickets for the fake lion-washing and handed them out all over London.

April Fools’ Day is not a new invention: the first recorded instance of pranksterism is over 300 years old. In 1698, Dawks’s News-Letter reported that “several persons were sent to the Tower [of London] Ditch to see the Lions washed.” The Tower of London’s moat was (and is) lion-free, but suggesting that people visit the Tower for the “washing of the lions” remained a popular prank for several hundred years.

What does this have to do with my blog?

April Fools’ pranks abound in the media; since newspapers, radio, and television reach large numbers of people simultaneously, they’re perfect vehicles for large-scale jokes. Blogs are no different, and April 1st gives you an opportunity to inject a bit of levity (and maybe publish a highly shareable post that brings you some new readers — everyone loves…

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10 Stress and time saving tools every teacher should know about.

10 Stress and time saving tools


1 – Google drive

Google Drive is a great suite of productivity tools that works across different devices. Google Drive  provides 15 GB of free storage. Whether you want to create stunning presentations, collaborate on a document, make beautiful drawing or design spreadsheets for your class, Google Drive is the answer.


2 – Remind




Remind is a safe and easy-to-use communication tool that helps teachers connect instantly with students and parents. Use Remind to send quick Announcements to the entire class, or start a Chat for one-to-one conversation.


3 – DeRep

DeRep Standard Logo -625KB -Maximum



A new take on school report writing. With DeRep the base of a report is got out of the way in seconds leaving more time to focus on what counts, the motivational and specific comments. All saved on the go reports can be written any time and any where.


4 – Evernote

Evernote is powerful web tool that you can use to make notes, bookmark web pages and many more. Evernote is free and works across different devices mobile and web based.


5 – Socrative

Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.


6 – Prezi

This is a cloud based presentation tool that allows you to creating awesome presentations embeddable in different websites and blogs


7 – TED Ed

This platform allows users to take any useful educational video, not just TED’s, and easily create a customized lesson around the video. Users can distribute the lessons, publicly or privately, and track their impact on the world, a class, or an individual student.


8 – Google  in Education

This is a platform created by Google where you will get to learn everything you need to know about using Google products in education


9 – Edshelf

This is another wonderful web tool to curate, organize and share web content.


10 – Slideshare

The world’s largest community for sharing PowerPoint, OpenOffice presentations, Keynote, PDF and infographics.

Have we accepted the time and nerves report writing season costs us every year?


We at DeRep are always interested in topics that are trending in the teacher’s world. In particular we follow topics that are to do with time management and tools that improve efficiency of work, simply because our product deals with exactly this.

We know quite a lot about report writing, and we are interested in your opinion in this matter. When doing research online you can find many tools providing pre written report comments for teachers of all subjects, and having spoken to a lot of teachers we can confirm that comment banks have over the years lent themselves very well to the task of writing school reports.

At the same time however those comment banks bear the risk of simple mistakes that can very easily make their way into the reports. On top of that there seem to be solutions out there sounding like they are not making the teacher’s life easier at all. As one teacher puts it, when referring to the tool used at their school, “it has been designed to be as awkward to use as possible and using spell check frequently causes it to crash.”

It is for that exact reason that some schools even employ proofreaders to check for mistakes in teachers’ reports to parents. This was reported by a popular newspaper last year, and was received with surprise from many ends.

Have we accepted that writing school reports eats time, leaves room for errors and if you don’t invest enough time simply is of no benefit to the parent, student or teacher?

We don’t think so! We think it is particularly the teachers who strive to produce reports that give real guidance to parents and students and it’s simply the sheer work load and the lack of tools available that makes it insanely difficult for them.

Teachers need a tool that combines automation for quickly producing base reports with the ability to easily customise when required. A tool that would automatically enable specific comments by the teacher to be used in perfect harmony with those comments provided by a comment bank. A system that alerts you when a wrong pronoun or even name is used, and even better inserts the right names and pronouns for you on the basis of your class list. If you could then even share your personally written comments with your colleagues – then we would have the perfect tool to tackle the workload of school reports appropriately.

And we believe we have created just that tool – it is called DeRep.

DeRep is the next generation report writing tool, focusing on taking laborious tasks of the teacher’s hands and letting you focus on the things that matter.

So all your students are happy sending all their information to who?


So it seems that the most popular mobile phone handset these days is either run on Android or iOS. They both offer amazing time saving apps, they monitor our sleep they alert us of news events and remind us when our friends birthdays are… they also track us. They don’t just track us a little but they track us a lot, unless you actively restrict features on your handset they track almost everything we do with our handsets. Do all your students know that access to all their activity, from what they search on the internet to where they have physically been in the world is stored in a data centre and easily accessible… (more…)

Hump Day


Referring to Wednesday as “hump day” is a fairly modern tradition in English. The term represents the idea that a week can be visualized as a mound or hill that a person climbs, with Wednesday typically being the middle or peak of the week. There is some disagreement over which day of the week should be the “hump,” since it varies depending on when a person works and how a week begins. There are other sources for negative associations with Wednesdays, and few holidays are regularly celebrated on this day.

The Image of a Hump

“Hump day” refers to the idea that a week, especially a work week, is like a hill. Monday and Tuesday are days when a person “climbs” up, since they are the beginning or start of a traditional work week. At the end of Wednesday, the worker has reached the pinnacle of the week, and work on Thursday and Friday represents climbing back down toward the weekend.

This image refers specifically to that middle of the week, where a worker reaches the crest of the uphill journey and begins to pace downward toward the end of the week. Someone with a tedious job or who works especially hard can find it comforting to reach “hump day.” At that point, the weekend does not seem so far off as when he or she started work on Monday.

Disagreement Over Wednesday

There is some dispute about whether Wednesday is truly “hump day.” When the expression emerged, many people worked a six-day week, and had only Sunday as a day of rest. Some people suggest that in this context, Thursday would have actually been the “hump day.”

Looking at the course of a seven-day week that starts on Monday, Thursday is the fourth day of the week and in the direct middle. Yet, many people count the beginning of the week as Sunday, and that makes Wednesday the true middle, regardless of the use of “hump day” in reference to working. For people working a schedule other than Monday through Friday, there may be a different middle day that is appropriate for them.

Negative Associations with Wednesday

Though many may view hump day as a very positive thing, Wednesday has had a bad reputation at times. An old rhyme that describes children born on each day portrays children born on Wednesday as “full of woe.” Wednesday may be thought of as gray days, unhappy days, or unlucky days according to folk literature. Nevertheless, for many working people, the arrival of hump day is cause for cheering, and whether that day is windy or gray, it still means that the weekend is close at hand.

Did you know..?

In 2012 teachers worked a total of 325 million unpaid hours!

Everyone knows that almost every job and trade comes with a bit of working overtime, and I think we can all agree that it is OK to put in a few extra hours here and there.

Being passionate about what we do definitely helps. Then working much doesn’t really matter, because we simply don’t mind. The problem is though, even if we don’t mind our performance suffers under the stress, especially if the job we are doing is stressful as it is.

We can’t change the problem of the whole working world – unfortunately, but when we started working together in 2012 we decided to start with making the teachers’ busy life a bit easier, and this is when we came up with the idea of DeRep.

After 2 years of development (and a few hours of working overtime) we have reached a stage where we can introduce you to a tool that has been designed to eliminate some of those 325 million unpaid hours for teachers.

DeRep sheds a completely new light on the area of school report writing and is a brilliant tool to produce school reports quicker without any loss of personality or quality –


School Comment Banks

There seem to be a mass of school report writing tools, all with good sized comments banks available to use, but which is best?

The first on the scene appears to be Ray Learning. This is a fairly basic tool available these days. The program is downloaded to the users local machine, reports are then build up comment by comment. The user needs to read through lists of comments picking out the ones most suitable for the student in question. From experience this often leads to mistakes as the inevitable rushing creeps in, resulting inaccurate reports.


The latest on the scene is a tool called DeRep. This tool turns the existing systems on their head; instead of asking the teacher to manually choose from endless lists of report comments, DeRep school report writing asks the teacher to grade the student 0 – 10 against a list of attribute. The program then does the work the teacher used to do, it compiles a report based on the grades given. This grading is a double edged sword, not only does the grading allow the teacher to create reports far far quicker, the system also enables the teacher to choose from automatically categorised comments too specific to be entered into comment banks. DeRep is a very interesting new tool and I will be watching it closely! I wish it the best of luck.