Keeping schools safe: Why are security systems important in education?
Students and teachers have a right to feel safe and secure within their place of work and study. Keeping schools safe allows children to look forward to being in an encouraging environment that promotes social and creative learning. Parents too should feel reassured that when their child attends school or college that they will come to no harm, and expect a high level of security in place at the premises.
What type of security systems should be implemented in schools and other educational institutions?
· Door entry systems and access control
Keeping unauthorised persons out of the premises is a high priority when it comes to safeguarding. Enabling staff to monitor and control who can enter and exit the premises is critical. For example, a door entry system or intercom would allow staff to allow visitors into a reception area, where they will be able to confirm their reason to visit the school and allow access accordingly. Authorised personnel and students would be able to gain access through restricted areas, using a pre-programmed fob or proximity card. Not only can restricting access deter unwanted visitors, but could keep students away from potentially hazardous areas such as science labs or restricted areas.
· Video Surveillance Systems
Although there is much debate surrounding CCTV and its place in the education sector, having video surveillance cameras installed in key strategic locations across a school’s premises can protect against many security risks. Some of the most common threats in schools include bullying, anti-social behaviour, vandalism and theft. Assault on teachers is also now becoming extremely commonplace, with teaching considered one of the most high-risk professions when it comes to workplace violence.
Not only do camera systems provide peace of mind, but also a sense of prevention, preparedness and response, as video footage can be effective in school safety investigations, or even act as a deterrent against a lot of anti-social behaviour and criminal activity. People being monitored are less likely to be disruptive or inappropriate for the fear of getting caught, and that goes for teachers as well; it is extremely important to know how a teacher is performing in class and behaving with their pupils. Outside of working hours and during school holidays, CCTV systems can be remotely monitored, to prevent against break-ins and criminal damage to the premises, include breaking windows and graffiti.
In terms of privacy and data protection, there are laws and codes of practice that institutions must follow. Systems must be registered with the Information Commissioners Office and each premises has to identify a valid objective or reason to have video surveillance in place.
Implementing the above security solutions will provide greater protection to students and staff alike, and give parents re-assurance that their children are in safe hands. Other measures such as intruder alarm systems and automated gates and barriers would also provide protection against security risks faced by schools and colleges. For more guidance, click here.
Watch Systems Ltd install and maintain security systems at various sites in the educational sector around the West Midlands and are able to provide a free risk report and list of recommendations, tailored to your premises. For more information, contact us here.