Providing a safe environment for students is one of a school’s most important jobs. School should be a place where students can feel protected and supported. There are many ways to protect your students, both internally and externally, and implementing procedures and security solutions to keep them safe will help them learn and grow in a comfortable environment. It will also give the student’s parents more confidence in your ability to safeguard their child when they trust you to look after them each day.
Whether your school is big or small, or primary or secondary, here’s how you can improve security in your school:
1. Perimeter security
The first way to create a secure school is to keep a secure perimeter. This means investing in appropriate security gates, fences and railings without making the school feel like a prison. It’s important that you maintain a feeling of freedom to make sure students don’t feel trapped, while also stopping anyone from coming in who shouldn’t be.
Strong commercial gates will be essential at controlling the traffic in and out of the school and allowing you to lock the gates at certain times. This is helpful when you want to lock up for the evening and stop any potential intruders causing damage overnight. Several pedestrian gates will give students and staff easy access onto the school grounds in the morning, without having people entering from all over the site. Vehicle gates will be essential for keeping cars off school property where there may be children playing, but also allow access for emergency vehicles should that be necessary.
Security cameras are useful as deterrents to prevent crime and monitor your school premises 24 hours a day. You will be able to get the right security system for your school and help keep everyone inside safe and ensure there is no damage to the premises. If it is ever needed, there will be security footage available that you can look back on should the situation call for it.
4. Access control
As technology has advanced, it has given us more and more security options to help keep our properties safe. Access control is a great way to ensure only the necessary people are able to obtain entry into your school by providing gates and doors with locking systems that can only be unlocked with a key code or key fobs. Access control systems can also use cameras and intercom systems to help you communicate with those coming in, and see exactly who it is before you open up the door or gate.
5. Monitor car parks
Having a few staff members on duty in the morning and afternoon to monitor the car park will help keep the school safe by keeping an eye on anyone that isn’t known to the school or shouldn’t be there. It also ensures that no children can leave the property after being dropped off by their parents and that the gates are closed once lessons have begun.
Fencing around the perimeter of the school will help provide more control over the people coming and going. You can use brightly coloured security fencing to help create an exciting atmosphere and help students feel more at home in their surroundings.
7. Security barriers
A great option for your school car parks is adding security barriers with proximity readers that will allow the gate to open for those with permits. This means staff and parents will be able to easily gain access and anyone else will not be able to drive into the car park. Heavy-duty automatic barriers are perfect for high volume vehicle parking control and manually operated security barriers are great for smaller premises.
8. Indoor security
The security of your school should continue throughout the premises in hallways, classrooms and communal areas in order to maintain the safety of students and teachers.
9. Lock windows and doors
Perhaps slightly obvious, but ensuring all windows and doors are kept locked when no one is in them will help keep students safe. It’s also a good idea to invest in good security doors and fire doors to improve the security of each building. Something that is becoming more commonplace is access control on doors within schools and universities and giving each student a card or fob that allows them to unlock certain doors. This ensures anyone that shouldn’t be roaming corridors can gain access to the school hallways.
10. Monitor visitors
It’s likely you’ll need to allow visitors onto the school site fairly regularly such as parents, Ofsted or guests for assemblies and talks. Ensuring you have a sign in and sign out book and guest badges will help you to know who is on the site and for everyone else to distinguish visitors. All staff should be trained to report strangers or members of the public to the school office so the correct action can be taken.
11. Monitor students
Ask staff to monitor highly populated student areas such as playgrounds, cafeterias and hallways to ensure they are treating each other with kindness and respect and there is no dangerous behaviour taking place. In busy areas, things can go under the radar but just being present will prevent any misbehaviour and stop any potential issues such as members of the public entering the site.
12. Fire and burglar alarms
Keeping a school safe and secure against fire and burglars can be done through the right alarm system. A fire alarm is essential for the welfare of your students by alerting everyone in the building that they need to evacuate. Regular fire drills should be carried out so that everyone is aware of the correct procedure.
It’s also important to protect your school premises outside of hours and a burglar alarm system will ensure that all important buildings are secured overnight. If anyone does trespass onto the property, the alarm will sound and local authorities will be aware.
13. Indoor access control
It’s also wise to ensure that only the correct people are able to gain access to certain rooms or buildings and only provide master keys to the members of staff who do need access to all areas of the school. Ensure that members of staff and students that do have keys and fobs only have them for the areas they need to access, therefore minimising the chance of them getting into the wrong hands. Giving varying levels of access to members of the school helps reduce unauthorised access to restricted areas.
14. Advice for headteachers
It’s the responsibility of the headteacher to ensure that their school is following the correct procedures and are doing everything they need to to provide a safe and secure learning environment.
Here are some security tips for headteachers:
● If your school has security gates you must ensure they meet with European Standards as additional safety features must be in place when children are involved.
● Ensure all staff members understand and respect the importance of security measures and take them seriously.
● Regularly review staff training procedures and provide regular safeguard training.
● Inform parents of the security policy and encourage them to get involved. For example, asking parents to report any suspicious activity or faulty security equipment and carrying photo ID to prove their identity.
● Perform regular routine security checks.
If you need help and advice on improving your Schools, Colleges or Universities security then please see your listed Teachers Discount company for help and advice.
S&L Fabrication Telephone: 01283 820189