What are the security risks in schools?

It is vital that our schools are as protected and secure as possible. Students and teachers alike spend large portions of their weekdays here, so they need to know they are as secure as possible for their own safety.

Unfortunately, there are many security risks that can occur at school ranging from truancy to unauthorised access which could lead to fires, vandalism and threats. Although security measures are expensive, and schools are run on strict budgets, it is a lot more costly to deal with the effects of a security breach than it potentially is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here we discuss some of the security risks schools face and how we can try and combat them.

Property related crime is a relatively common occurrence and risk at schools. Vandalism and theft not only cause damage to the property and the need to replace the equipment, it could lead to a serious data breach if sensitive information is leaked. It also causes disruption to the running of the school and lessons, which in turn will impact the quality of learning. Having repeated acts of this type can also have a demotivating impact on both staff and students.

Perimeter Security
It is common for vandalism to happen on school grounds after hours and during school holidays. Due to the school being unoccupied for significant amounts of time during these school breaks, it makes the premises vulnerable, especially if the sufficient security measures are not in place. Perimeter security is the easiest and often most cost-effective method of controlling this. Having gates and fences around the entire boundary of the school not only prevents unauthorised people from coming onto the site whilst the school is closed, they are equally as effective during school hours as well. Having security gates in full time use will also reduce the risk of truancy. Schools with extensive fields and land need to ensure that all of the perimeter is as secure as possible.

Access Control
A lot of schools have many different points of entry which makes securing the property difficult. In many circumstances the school may offer services to the local community such as a gym, library or nursery which will mean access to the general public will be necessary. Not having control over who comes into the school can cause problems. To reduce the risk of anything bad happening, ensuring the main buildings, and rooms storing important equipment and data such as computer rooms and server rooms, should have additional security and methods of access control. Having key cards and entry codes are ways to add this additional security. Its also important to ensure computer rooms and server rooms are not on the ground floor if possible, as these are in a more vulnerable location.

Bollards and Speed Ramps
It is not only the risk of vandalism, theft and unauthorised entry which schools have to consider. School car parks are there to be used by staff and parents, however these come with their own security risk. Due to how busy car parks come at the beginning and end of the school day, the volume of vehicles and pedestrians can lead to the risk of injury or damage. Having bollards to block off some areas from vehicles parking as well as having speed ramps to ensure traffic is always slow are two simple ways of reducing this risk.

The risks discussed are just some that schools can face daily. The security of schools needs to be measured and assessed regularly to ensure the staff and students remain safe. Although security measures can be costly, Gateway Automation can help to choose the most cost-effective options for you. For a free non-obligation quotation and feasibility survey please contact Gateway Automation on 01522 682255.

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