A Modern Guide to Security Systems for Schools
By Sam Moxey
Jan 22, 2021
There’s a great deal to take into account when devising effective security systems for schools. From Government guidelines to data protection and privacy, and from protecting pupils, staff and visitors from an array of risks, not to mention bringing in COVID-secure measures and unoccupied premises protection during lockdown, there is a huge amount to think about.
Here our experts explore the vital considerations to make when it comes to putting the right systems in place to protect every aspect of your educational establishment.
Security systems for schools need to do a lot more than protect the premises and the valuables within it. Naturally this is crucial, but keeping pupils, staff and visitors safe by preventing unauthorised access, cutting crime, averting antisocial behaviour and monitoring for truancy and bullying really do need to be factored in. And of course recently, there are COVID-secure measures that have to feature too and that need to be closely monitored.
What does the Department for Education say about security systems for schools?
The Government’s Department for Education says that schools and colleges must have a policy and plan in place to manage and respond to security related incidents.
Such a policy must work in line with the establishment’s safeguarding policy, and form part of a suite of policies designed to ensure the health, safety and well-being of students and staff. A competent person must be appointed as a lead for health, safety and security.
The Government says that all students and staff must be able to work in a safe and secure environment, and that the potential threat of security related issues such as vandalism, arson, terrorist attacks or other serious incidents should not be ignored.
It is important that the school security policy strikes a balance between maintaining an open and welcome environment for pupils, parents and the wider community, whilst protecting them from harm. It should also create a culture within which staff and pupils understand how important it is to be more vigilant about their own safety and that of others.
Security systems for schools – top recommendations
Every school is unique in its level of risk and security needs which means a site-specific risk assessment is vital. Many establishments however will benefit from a core set of security measures, many of which can be integrated with COVID-secure and lockdown measures. Here are our experts’ top recommendations.
Security cameras for schools have long been used to keep the premises and the people within it safe from all manner of threats. But just lately, CCTV cameras have become one of the most powerful security tools, making use of artificial intelligence (AI) and layering up with other technologies in order to form a highly sophisticated security armoury.
With AI behind it, CCTV is empowered to learn where dubious activity has been manually identified, allowing super-fast, automated actions to be taken. These could be, for example, summoning security teams or monitoring centres, sounding alarms or restricting access to certain individuals as soon as a threat is detected. All this reduces the need for human monitoring, which itself offers numerous benefits.
Also in the realms of CCTV screening, thermal monitoring is now playing a vital role. Temperature screening has never been so important in educational establishments and, with the power of AI, it has the ability to fix the temperature measuring to human bodies only so that the false alarm rate is reduced. Built-in alarms can also alert operators to any raised temperatures passing by the cameras.
Touchless access control systems
Access control will always be a top choice for door security systems for schools and for ensuring only authorised persons are able to enter school or college premises. But the latest touchless technology takes things a step further, making this a solution that not only serves a traditional security function, but that also acts as an effective tool when it comes to protecting against the spread of COVID-19.
Touch-free access control is now able to incorporate facial recognition, removing the need for keypads, swipe cards or tags. Using artificial intelligence, today’s systems can also combine CCTV-powered temperature monitoring and facial covering detection, and can also be integrated with visitor management technology, making it possible to not just control who enters, but how many enter.
Remote security systems for schools
The benefit of remote security management for schools is that you get to securely monitor the premises via cloud-based technology. So whether you are keeping tabs on the building during lockdown closure, or monitoring social distancing and other COVID-secure practices, all of this can be done around the clock, without any need for onsite security patrols.
When combined with video verification, remote monitoring for schools becomes an even more formidable security measure. Video verification can be used to confirm a live intrusion using video footage. For monitored alarms, this can act as a verified event which will trigger the set response, for example emergency services despatch. There are many arguments for security cameras for schools, and this has to be one of the strongest.
Expert strategies and specialist security systems for schools from Barry Bros Security
Any school security strategy needs to fit with the site specific risk assessment, must fall in line with current Health and Safety Executive (HSE), government COVID-secure and Department for Education guidelines, and has to comply with the GDPR for data protection.
It is therefore crucial, when arranging security systems for schools, to work closely with a security expert who has specific education sector knowledge.
Here at Barry Bros Security, we have the expertise you need to plan your school or college security measures. We are able to work with existing systems, providing upgrades and maintenance programmes, and are experienced in working to set budgets and within educational environments.
To discuss your school security requirements, you are welcome to get in touch.