Staff and Pupil safety are paramount in the school environment and the security processes, procedures and systems all play an important role in that. However there is a fine-line between complete lock-down and sensible security practices that continue to provide a nice environment for staff and pupils to work in that's also conducive to learning.
The threats to security and safety are wide-ranging and include vulnerability to arson, unwanted intruders onto school land, bullying, graffiti, attacks on staff and pupils to name a few.
Many security practices can be implemented with little or no investment such as:
- Restricted access to playgrounds outside of the arrival/departure windows
- Have a single entrance path to the school during main school hours
- Lock Computer and TV equipment away outside of school hours and use Kensington locks so they're not easily removed when in-situ
- Keep bins in a locked compound away from the school to reduce fire risk and prevent them being used to access low flat roofs
- Create a checklist and do the rounds once a week looking for vulnerable areas and checking that procedures are being followed
- Communicate your security policies and procedures with parents, so they're aware too.
However, in terms of adding specific security measures:
- Access Control systems restrict access to authorised people only, with push-button request for others to gain access
- CCTV systems correctly placed and administered can help protect staff and pupils during the day and the empty buildings at night. Plus if your school is particularly vulnerable, this can be monitored 24x7 if required.
- Monitored alarm systems can have an immediate police response to protect your school premises out of normal opening hours
- Gates and Fencing can act as a deterrent and restrict access without making the school look like a prison