A POPULAR school has installed CCTV in the boys’ toilets after a spate of “vandalism and graffiti".

Turton School temporarily installed the cameras several weeks ago to catch those responsible for the damage, the cost of which was described as “considerable”.

One parent contacted The Bolton News fearing images of boys using the urinals could be caught on camera through the mirror .

The school says that the CCTV software, which allows access to the live view and recorded images, can only be accessed by a small number of safeguarding level 3 staff who all have individual passwords.

Since the installation, the school says it has caught those responsible and — now school bosses are consulting with parents with a view to making the cameras permanent which they say is "in line with the practice of other schools" in the boy’s toilets across the school site.

Head of the school, Sam Gorse stressed the cameras point at the sinks and dryers — and do not have a view of the cubicles or urinals.

She said that she had received around 30 emails from parents supporting the move.

Ms Gorse said: "We have had no parents complain to the school, and since we sent out the letter to parents on Friday, the overwhelming majority of replies are supportively in favour.

"Since the cameras were installed we have had no further incidents of either vandalism or graffiti in the toilets.

"There were incidents of boys jumping on the sinks and soap dispensers, pulling them off the wall and breaking them. Also repeated incidents of the sinks being deliberately blocked with toilet roll, causing flooding.

"The money to repair the damage comes out of the school budget.

"The reason to make the cameras permanent is so they act as a deterrent. The cameras point straight down at the sinks and the soap dispensers and does not capture images in the mirrors, which are higher up.

"The urinals cannot be seen on the camera."

‘’Signs are up in all relevant toilets, making students aware of the cameras.’’

One parent, whose teenage boy attends the school, said: “I cannot believe this has been allowed to happen, I have taught in schools and can’t comprehend it at all.

“It’s disgusting, above the sinks are the mirrors in which the urinals can been seen.

“I found out about these cameras last week, when my child told me — the school had not told us.

“After I contacted Bolton Council safeguarding team all of a sudden parents got an email.”

She added: “The letter states the cameras were going to be temporary and now they want to make them permanent — and they have now caught the vandals.

“I have since asked another student what damage was caused. He told me it was just some writing on the walls.

“The letter makes you think it was so much worse.”

The mother added: “My reasons for being against this and wanting the cameras removed is because we don’t know who has access, how long is it kept, all CCTV can be hacked, there are real safeguarding concerns.

“We were never consulted or gave our permission.”

The consultation will run until Monday, March 25 before being discussed by school governors on Monday, April 1.