The Observer has heard that government agencies has been keeping an eye on the online profiles of “dozens” of regular teaching staff members, including instructional assistants, and has filed away any posts that criticize educational practices.
This publication disclosed two weeks ago how the Department of Education keeps an eye on the social media accounts of some of the top education experts in the nation. There is now proof that the surveillance is far more pervasive and even reaches the lowest paid employees.
This past weekend, regular teaching and support personnel expressed their shock and rage upon learning that the department possessed files on them, calling them “gobsmacked.”
Upon learning that there were documents up to 60 pages lengthy about their comments and tweets criticizing the government’s actions or the educational inspectorate, Ofsted, a number of incensed educators hurried to submit requests for subject access [SARs] demanding the DfE provide any information it maintains under their name.
Higher-level assistant teacher and elementary school librarian Nikki Cleveland, who mostly shares uncontroversial reviews of children’s books on Twitter, learned through a SAR that the DfE maintained a file that alerted colleagues to her complaints on Twitter regarding Ofsted and the lack of financing for school libraries. “I was astounded that I was ever on their radar,” the woman remarked.
Cleveland was incensed that “nothing has changed” despite the department highlighting tweets about schools finding it difficult to maintain their budgets, meet the increasing needs of students without enough personnel, and handle onerous demands from Ofsted.
“It just makes me more cynical that nobody in the DfE or the government gives a damn about what goes on in schools on a daily basis,” she continued.
Primary school English teacher Jon Biddle, whose annoyance with government policies has risen in recent months, said that he knew of “dozens of other teachers” who discovered that their conversations were being monitored. watched. Biddle has also become increasingly outspoken in his criticism of the policies. He added his own SAR, knowing that generally he agreed with the people’s criticisms of the government.