Integrated Security Systems for Schools

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Integrated Security Systems for Schools

Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in the number of schools reviewing their CCTV, Access Control and Intruder Alarms in response to OFSTED requirements. In particular, “outstanding schools, pupils’ safeguarding is central to all that the schools do. These schools often go above and beyond the requirements which they do not see as a burden. Key features of outstanding practice include high quality leadership and management that makes safeguarding a priority, a high priority given to training in safeguarding, robust arrangements for site security, and a curriculum that teaches pupils how to stay safe, how to protect themselves from harm and how to take responsibility for their own and others’ safety”.

This review of site security has included looking at old style analogue CCTV systems and standalone door entry systems. We have supported schools to assess their ‘security layering’ and look into effective and proportionate technology responses. Often our recommendations for integrated security systems include:

External fencing or fixing broken fencing
Reducing access points to the site
Controlling access at site entrances (i.e. Gate Entry or Vehicle Barriers)

IP CCTV cameras focused on site entry points and building entrances
Landscaping and removal of trees or structures providing access to vulnerable building points

Interior & Restricted Areas
IP CCTV covering key points (entrances and thoroughfares) in the school
Monitoring screens in reception
IP Access Control to manage traffic flow and prevent access to restricted or sensitive areas

The purpose of this approach to ensure the security of the ‘asset’ which in this case is pupils and staff.

In this way, by using sensible tools and ‘security layers’ the safety of pupils and staff can be ensured. However, the problem with ageing security systems still remains and the expense of maintaining older CCTV and Access Control systems can be prohibitive.

Over the past year, IP security manufacturers have looked to provide systems which are effective, easily converged or integrated onto single and simple software platforms. This has meant the costs associated with installing these types of systems have tumbled. Also, costs can be reduced as IP megapixel cameras can cover a much larger area and to a higher standard than analogue CCTV and generally one IP CCTV camera can replace four cameras. This means the case for migrating to this type of system in the school environment is significant.

Also, similar entry level IP Access Control systems are now on the market and since they are powered from a ethernet cable the installation is quick and simple. Furthermore, this system will be then centrally managed (usually reception staff) on their PC. They can grant access or change the access for certain areas only or revoke access.

We have worked with Secondary Schools and large Independent Schools who have installed enterprise level security systems which are all centrally managed on a single PC, however most schools will require a much smaller system but the principles remain the same:

– IP CCTV is superior to analogue CCTV and more cost effective
– IP Access Control systems are cost comparative but more versatile than standalone door entry systems
– All IP security systems can be integrated and managed on one PC
– These systems can be remotely managed or in the case of IP CCTV, cameras can be viewed if a sensor has been activated

Using our approach to ‘security layering’ and installing cost effective IP security systems will ultimately exceed OFSTED requirements, to ensure ‘site safety’. At Sunstone, we are school security experts and we can help you to assess your security and install systems which are innovative and cost effective.

If you would like to find out more or would like to speak to schools we work with, then get in touch and we can help you be OFSTED ready.