If you are looking for ways to improve school security, this article offers six quickfire tips on ways to protect pupils, staff, property and enhance all-around safety.
Keeping pupils safe and secure is a key responsibility for a school. Furthermore, school security systems are deployed to keep teachers safe in their working environment.
Schools often operate within tight budgets.
When reviewing security at a school, many head teachers, IT managers and governors will often pose themselves this question:
“How can we improve school security affordably?”
Schools deal with a range of security threats on an ongoing basis
- Vandalism – smashed windows, damage to playground equipment and vehicles
- Burglary – thieves often target schools for expensive IT equipment such as laptops, tablets and more
- Anti-social behaviour & violence – drug dealing, knives and abusive behaviour
- Abuse and harassment – this can affect pupils and staff
Related reading: School Security Threats & Risks. 6 Examples of Crime in Schools
How to improve school security affordably
There are a range of security systems and solutions for schools. Each offers a different set of benefits and meets specific objectives.
The 6 affordable ways to improve school security we discuss in this article are:
1. External CCTV: Monitoring playgrounds and car parks
2. Internal CCTV: Monitoring classrooms and corridors
3. Access control systems: Keeping a log of who is in an out of the building
4. Developing a security checklist: Keeping on top of security
5. Security Guards or remote CCTV monitoring: Which is more affordable?
6. Talks and seminars to help students and teachers keep security front of mind
Let’s get started.
External school CCTV: Monitoring school playgrounds and car parks
External CCTV systems can be deployed to deter fights from breaking out in the playground. If students know they are being watched, the risk could be reduced.
In the event of more serious violence, or drug dealing taking place, your school CCTV system will capture any footage required as evidence.
CCTV cameras systems can also be deployed to monitor the school’s car parks for incidents of vandalism. If a teacher’s or visitor’s car is damaged, the
security cameras will pick them up.
Furthermore, playgrounds get vandalised by yobs and need protection. Modern playgrounds cost a fair amount so a deterrent like CCTV would be a wise investment.
Additionally, ANPR CCTV cameras can be used to track and store the number plates of known sex offenders, or drug dealers. If the camera picks up the number plate, a designated member of staff can be alerted.
Examples from the media of vandalism in schools:
Internal CCTV: monitoring classrooms and corridors
Over the past decade incidents of teachers being attacked at schools has risen dramatically.
Sexualised insults are more and more common.
This is all in addition to the aged old, ongoing issues with bullying and pupils fighting.
Well placed, Internal school CCTV systems can be deployed to address these threats.
Examples from the media of violence and anti-social behaviour in schools:
Looking for a CCTV system for your school?
Talk to an expert today about your CCTV system options.
School access control and door entry systems: Keeping a log of who is in, and out of the building
School security has two main objectives; pupil and teacher safety.
Managing the flow of staff, pupils and visitors can be a challenge. Particularly, when a school, has multiple car parks, a large perimeter, and entrances.
Key fob door entry systems can be deployed to only grant access to students, teachers, and known visitors. Attendance can be tracked for health and safety purposes. This data gives school admins the peace of mind they know who is in, and out of the building. It also provides a fire list, in the event of a fire drill or evacuation.
Key fob door entry systems can also be programmed to restrict access to certain parts of a building or site. Staff rooms, science cupboards and IT stores can be set as ‘off-limits’
Video intercoms can be used to grant or deny access to visitors. Intercoms provide an additional, visual layer of security to schools.
Useful guide: Controlling access to school premises
Interested in access control for your school?
Key fob door entry, video and audio intercom options for schools
Developing a security checklist
To help schools stay on top of security, developing a daily, weekly, or end of term security checklist is a sensible thing to do.
Making sure all windows are locked, alarms primed, and equipment stored away overnight are just some of the daily checks a school can make.
At the end of term, a more thorough sweep of the premises and site would be required.
Security checklists, help keep premises safe, and give those in charge of security, peace of mind.
Here are a couple of useful links to help you develop your own school security checklist.
Security guards or remote CCTV monitoring – which is more affordable?
As mentioned earlier in the article, one of the key questions teachers will ask themselves is “how can we improve school security affordably?”
Schools are left largely unattended overnight, and during holidays.
Security guards are an option. However, they are an expensive option as they command a salary whilst they watch the CCTV screens and patrol the site at relatively regular intervals.
An affordable school security option would be CCTV monitoring. Simply put, cameras and sensors replace guards. Off site teams view your footage if a sensor is triggered. The authorities are contacted if there is a security threat in progress.
Is this better than employing security guides?
If you are looking to save money., yes. CCTV monitoring can save you up to 80% against the costs of a physical guard.
Interested to find out more?
Talks and seminars to help students and teachers keep security front of mind
Have you considered inviting The Police or a security company into the school to provide some education?
Local Police officers can keep staff and pupils updated on local issues around drug dealing, and ASB.
Furthermore, local security companies could provide interesting insights and tips on improving overall security.
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