A sad predicament of the world today is that we are all more alert and aware of the fact that intruders are willing to enter a school and place occupants in danger.
Their motivations can be varied – religion, terrorism, paedophilia or mental illness, however these threats are real, and teachers and school governors have a duty of care to protect those for whom they are legally responsible.
Many schools already have, or are planning, to improve school security. This may include enhancing boundary fencing, upgrading security and intruder alarm systems, installing CCTV and embarking on educative programmes warning of the risks of allowing unauthorised visitors to access school premises.
When installing and maintaining a school security alarm system, one of the key challenges Tecserv encounters is the need to identify and verify authorised users and restrict them to areas where they are allowed to access.
As well as classrooms, school buildings will also include laboratories, storage rooms, car parks and nurseries or crèches for younger children. Each of these areas has its own risk should an unauthorised person be allowed to access them, especially if their intent is to inflict harm.
Ensuring that pupils, buildings and equipment are protected requires an effective school building security alarm system for which users are fully trained, alarm systems that are regularly maintained and service inspections that are logged and documented.
A well-maintained system will ensure compliance with building safety regulations and also help to ensure the school passes OFSTED with flying colours. Teachers and school governors need evidence that school security systems and processes are effective and will prevent unauthorised access to school premises.
These can include access control systems to ensure accurate recording of people entering and leaving a building as well as controlling access to restricted areas. CCTV is also a very good monitoring areas such as car parks and corridors and will certainly act as a deterrent for any potential tomfoolery or vandalism!
We also help by suggesting ways teachers can educate pupils on the impact their behaviours can have on school security. Jumping fences means pupils are not logged as present in school should a fire break out, leaving doors ajar means anyone can enter, and sharing passes creates bad habits and reduces security.
At Tecserv we help to ensure regular planned maintenance and training takes place and that we help our school clients ensure that their intruder and alarm systems support their security policies and procedures.