By Chris Barry
Mar 06, 2015
When it comes to thinking about security for schools and other educational establishments, it’s a subject that covers an array of elements.
School security needs to consider many things: creating a secure environment for pupils, staff and visitors by preventing unauthorised access; reducing crime, antisocial behaviour, truancy and bullying using monitoring systems such as CCTV; and access control and protecting valuable property using all of the above.
Inspection guidelines issued by Ofsted focus on the security of children in schools and outline how schools are responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure pupils are safe when on the premises.
These responsibilities include monitoring of visitors, volunteers or anyone making use of the premises whilst pupils are present. ‘Reasonable’ steps will take into account costs and resources against risk and will also consider the need for a balance between avoiding a ‘fortress’ environment, ensuring reasonable community access, and putting safeguards in place.
Promoting a Sense of Safety and Confidence
Well thought-out and maintained security promotes a sense of safety and confidence amongst both pupils and staff and the importance of ensuring the security of the premises in all respects is something that cannot be emphasised enough. Every educational establishment is different though, so a tailored plan of action is vital and this should always begin with a risk assessment, followed by a bespoke security strategy.
School Security Compliance
A security strategy for a school must always cover Ofsted’s recommendations, the latest advice from the Home Office and CCTV compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. So it’s vital a security expert with this knowledge is engaged. They’ll also need to know what’s involved in an Ofsted compliant risk assessment. These are a requirement so schools can demonstrate they have taken all reasonable steps to control visitors and effectively supervise pupils.
Barry Bros Security offers a complete service to schools and educational establishments which includes expert sector-specific advice, consultancy and tailored security planning. We can work with existing security systems, upgrading and maintaining them where necessary to assist in reducing costs. We can work within set budgets and are experienced in operating in a school environment where we appreciate minimal disruption is essential. Staff are CRB cleared. To talk to us about your school security requirements, please get in touch.