In this article, we offer an overview of 10 key security measures schools need to take to improve site safety. As specialists in school CCTV and access control, we have published this article to help those in charge of security to protect pupils and teachers, and manage visitors appropriately.
Schools face a number of security threats on a daily basis. From theft and vandalism to internal issues, there is a wide variety of factors a school has to consider when protecting its staff and pupils. Ensuring the safety and security of students, staff and visitors is a key health and safety priority for any school.
Therefore, ensuring effective school security measures are in place is a sure-fire way to improve site safety and peace of mind.
What are the main school security measures to improve all-around safety?
There is a wide range of systems and measures that can improve school security. From installing CCTV and managing access to conducting regular security assessments, these security measures can help keep schools safe and secure for all.
Table of contents
- 1. Installing CCTV and school surveillance cameras
- 2. Implementing a visitor management and access control system
- 3. Conducting regular security assessments and drills
- 4. Perimeter security and protection
- 5. Providing staff and pupils with emergency procedure training
- 6. Installing intruder alarms and detection devices
- 7. Using ANPR cameras to manage site access and detect suspicious vehicles
- 8. Providing confidential counselling and support services
- 9. Implementing the use of identification badges for students, staff and visitors
- 10. Using CCTV monitoring to reduce the cost of overnight security
- 10 key school security measures – article summary
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1. Installing CCTV and school surveillance cameras
A key school security measure is installing CCTV and surveillance cameras to monitor internal and external areas. School CCTV systems detect and deter a range of security threats. This can include:
- Break ins and theft
- Vandalism and petty crime
- Bullying and harassment
- Drug dealing and alcohol misuse
Well placed external CCTV cameras covering the school grounds and entrances, coupled with internal surveillance systems will serve to protect the school from the above security threats.
PTZ cameras will help track intruders around the site, whilst a mix of dome, turret and bullet cameras will cover internal and external school surveillance.
Related reading: The benefits of CCTV camera systems in schools
2. Implementing a visitor management and access control system
The second school security measure we recommend is implementing a door access and visitor management system.
By implementing a visitor management system schools can control access to the school, ensuring that all guests are properly vetted. Furthermore, a door entry system will offer the means to grant universal access to some areas while restricting entry to laboratories, staff rooms and IT stores.
Related reading: School door entry and access control case study
Visitor access can be managed simply via an intercom, a keypad system, or an ANPR camera at the school gate. It allows for the identification of all visitors, tracking their whereabouts, and monitoring the time of their stay. Additionally, this can aid in the identification of any potential security threats and the ability to deny access if needed.
Key fob door entry systems can be used to grant pupils access via a main entrance, whilst tracking who is in and out of the building.
Interested to learn more?
Find out more about our range of door entry and access control systems for schools.
3. Conducting regular security assessments and drills
It’s important for schools to keep abreast of the key security threats they face. This will help a school’s security team spot any weaknesses in its current systems.
Furthermore, conducting regular security assessments and drills is a key measure for preparing for potential emergencies in a school. Identifying vulnerabilities, testing the readiness of the school’s response plan, and training staff and students will certainly contribute to a safer environment.
This can significantly improve a school’s ability to handle and mitigate any security incidents that may occur, as well as create greater peace of mind amongst staff and pupils.
4. Perimeter security and protection
The fourth key school security measure we recommended will help schools with significant perimeters to protect. Schools often are situated on substantial grounds and therefore have vast perimeters. A simple approach to perimeter protection can include using fencing and security lighting to deter any potential intruders.
Furthermore, surveillance cameras coupled with audio intervention, infra-red beams and sensors can be deployed as a part of a sophisticated perimeter security system.
Not only will perimeter CCTV systems help deter potential intruders, but they can also clearly identify those who enter the school and monitor the activity around the school – especially when PTZ cameras are deployed.
Lastly, perimeter surveillance can also help to prevent pupils from leaving the grounds without permission, as well as easily identify those that do. This creates an additional layer of security that can help protect pupils from external threats.
Related reading: The different types of perimeter security
5. Providing staff and pupils with emergency procedure training
The likelihood of a significant security incident unfolding at a school is minimal.
However, there are instances where these threats have occurred in the UK and schools need to have proper procedures and processes to deal with these threats.
This can also help to create a culture of security awareness and vigilance in the school community. For example, students knowing how and where to report unwanted visitors makes tackling the issue far easier.
6. Installing intruder alarms and detection devices
Whilst a well-designed school CCTV system can deter and detect intruders, security alarms are the backbone to site security.
Intruder alarm systems can alert staff and emergency services to potential threats, allowing for a quick response. This key school security measure can deal with many threats. These threats could be someone attempting to breach the site perimeter or an intruder breaking into the school.
7. Using ANPR cameras to manage site access and detect suspicious vehicles
ANPR CCTV cameras are incredibly versatile.
These advanced security cameras can be deployed to grant access to approved vehicles via the front gate. This can apply to parents dropping their children off as well as granting access to suppliers and delivery drivers.
Furthermore, ANPR cameras can be installed to detect suspicious vehicles approaching the school gates and entrances. Any individual on the sex offenders register will have their number plate stored on a police database. If a known number plate is spotted, an alarm signal can be triggered to alert site security for appropriate action to be taken
8. Providing confidential counselling and support services
With mental health becoming an increasingly relevant topic in the modern world, it is important to provide the right services for those that need support. This can help to identify and address potential issues before they escalate, such as mental health issues or bullying.
This can help to create a safer and more positive school environment and prevent potential security incidents from happening, through a reduction in isolation and antisocial behaviour.
9. Implementing the use of identification badges for students, staff and visitors
ID badges are another simple way of ensuring that everybody present on site is authorised to be there.
Using ID badges and lanyards enables easy identification of authorised people. For staff and pupils, handing out ID to keep on them at all times creates a secure environment.
This can also be used for visitors, by handing out guest passes or temporary stickers. This can help to detect unauthorised individuals and can aid in evacuation procedures during emergency situations.
10. Using CCTV monitoring to reduce the cost of overnight security
The final school security measure we recommend is deploying a monitored CCTV system.
For budget conscious schools, CCTV monitoring provides the perfect solution to manage security. Additionally, it helps reduce the cost of employing physical guards to patrol the site after hours and during holidays.
With CCTV monitoring, sensors are fitted to every security camera. When triggered, an alarm signal is sent to an offsite 24/7 security team.
If a threat is spotted, the authorities will be contacted to take appropriate action.
Furthermore, by integrating audio speakers within the system, the offsite team can communicate with the intruder warning them they are aware of their presence.
When compared to the salaries associated with onsite security guards, the costs of CCTV monitoring can be up to 80% cheaper.
10 key school security measures – article summary
Every school’s top priority is to keep its staff, pupils and visitors safe at all times.
By implementing any one of these ten school security measures we have recommended, you are helping create a safer and more secure environment.
By reducing the risk and impact of crime, emergencies or any internal threats, staff and pupils can focus on what matters most in their school lives, which benefits everybody in the long run.
Looking to improve school security?
If you are looking to improve your school’s security give one of our specialists a call today on 0800 689 1835.
Alternatively, if you are simply looking for more information on your options, we have a section of our site dedicated to school security systems.