Churcher’s College is a prestigious educational establishment: one of the most accomplished independent, co-educational day schools in the UK, boasting more than 300 years of history.
The scenic Senior School campus is located on Ramshill, overlooking the ancient market town of Petersfield, Hampshire.
With an outstanding reputation for academic excellence, Churcher’s College Senior School offers unrivalled facilities, providing the comfort and opportunities of an open, healthy environment, including high quality on-site playing fields.
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Addressing known security challenges
Like all schools, Churcher’s faces security and safeguarding challenges. There are cars regularly moving on and off site for school drop-offs and pick-ups, and staff parking for the day, and there are also third-party workers who require access periodically. The school needs to ensure that only authorised vehicles and visitors are permitted on the school grounds.
Security cameras are needed to provide health and safety coverage, particularly in sports and swimming facilities, and to help with safeguarding of children out of hours.
A professional approach to improving college security
So when Churcher’s College decided they needed to upgrade and overhaul their security system at their Senior School, they realised they wanted a high-level, professional approach. They contacted security experts Safeguard Systems.
Safeguard Systems is a specialist installer of security systems for schools with decades of experience in high-end commercial and educational sectors. Safeguard prides itself on its technical expertise, as well as its tailored system design solutions.
According to Safeguard’s Chris Clifton, the company’s goal is always to fully understand the client’s needs and build a fully bespoke system that takes into account the full context of those requirements.
For Churcher’s College, there were two major considerations that Safeguard had to take into account.
“The school’s core objective was to provide coverage in and around the school grounds to provide peace of mind for pupils, staff and visitors,” Clifton said. “They also wanted a system which would reassure parents that their children are being well looked after whilst they’re at school.”
A discreet, effective CCTV camera system
Alongside the functional security and safety element of the school’s requirement was the aesthetic impact of the new system. Churcher’s College is rightly proud of its beautiful grounds, and they were keen that whichever security solution was chosen should be unobtrusive and discreet, while also providing that high level of security coverage they desired.
“They wanted broad, detailed coverage, but they didn’t want an excessive number of cameras used, or highly visible cabling or camera poles dotted around the site,” Clifton explained.
Fewer cameras, maximum coverage
Safeguard recommended using a solution from security industry leader Hikvision. The system covers the exterior of the school and adds 51 new cameras to the site, including a number of 4MP cameras alongside, importantly, several Hikvision PanoVu cameras.
Hikvision’s PanoVu Series Cameras are designed to enable wide area coverage with a single camera. The 180-degree spliced panoramas presented are seamless and comprehensive, providing a full overview of the given scene. At Churcher’s College, using PanoVu cameras has enabled just one camera to be used in areas where previously at least two would have been needed to achieve the same coverage.
Hikvision Panovu cameras – 180-degree coverage
At the school’s sports centre and all-weather pitch, one ultra-high resolution 32-megapixel PanoVu camera covers the full area, negating the need for numerous unsightly six-metre high CCTV poles for static cameras. Hikvision’s DarkFighter technology captures high-quality colour images at all hours of the day, even in low-light conditions.
“That camera provides a crystal-clear, 180-degree image,” Clifton said. “It’s a single zoomable view of the full area, which is tremendously useful for monitoring purposes. It’s immediately clear if there’s anyone on those facilities out of hours or if an incident occurs which requires further investigation. The PanoVu cameras are discreet and aesthetically pleasing, they require minimal cabling, and they do an amazing job for an application like this.”
Using ANPR cameras to prevent unauthorised access
Safeguard also deployed a fully trackable ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) system as part of the security upgrade.
“Churcher’s College wanted to be able to protect students and staff on campus, as well as minimising the potential for theft or damage from unauthorised visitors,” Clifton said. “Using the ANPR camera system allows authorised vehicles to be pre-registered on the system – staff, parents and contractors, for example. Those vehicles are recognised by the ANPR cameras, which allow automatic front gate entrance on their approach. Visitors can still gain access, but they need to use the gate intercom to call and request entry.”
HikCentral – multi-site security camera monitoring via one interface
The whole system is managed and monitored onsite using HikCentral, Hikvision’s security management software. HikCentral was chosen as it can handle a large number of cameras and can be accessed by multiple users including the school’s head teacher, IT manager and facilities manager.
HikCentral is also able to monitor multiple sites from one location. This will enable Churcher’s College to expand this system to include its other campus if and when required. HikCentral also allows the school’s IT manager to quickly identify any problems on the system using its live real-time health monitoring capability, and resolve those rapidly before they become an issue.
Looking for a new or upgraded CCTV system to protect your college or school?
At Safeguard Systems, we offer a complementary site survey and system design proposal.