Discover some of the most effective ways to ensure safety in school.
Keeping your students, staff and premises safe at all times can be a daunting proposition. With so many potential risk factors at play, it’s completely understandable to feel unprepared when it comes to safety and security.
That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide on the best ways to ensure safety in school, so you can feel certain that your staff, students and premises are as secure as they could possibly be.
1. Planning for safety
It is the planning for emergency situations which is one of the most important ways to ensure safety in school. If the school management does not have a plan for a given situation, then you cannot expect junior members of staff or schoolchildren to do the right thing when a potential threat is identified. This is just the same in buildings like hospitals, museums and doctor’s surgeries as it is in places of education.
You should have a series of procedures written which deal with potentially serious threats, such as intruders or the breakout of a fire in the school so that everyone can refer to it in the event of an emergency. Any procedure you write, for example, one that sets out whether the school will open on a given day due to extreme weather, must be consistent with the policies of the school and its local authority, of course. Nevertheless, these procedures should be prepared in advance of major events so that people don’t have to improvise when something goes wrong, thereby potentially placing themselves in greater danger.
2. Deterrence as a security measure
Keeping people away who might have no right to be on school property is a key measure that helps to ensure the safety of teachers and students alike. In some schools, it is impossible to have a physical barrier to prevent unwarranted access all the way around its perimeter. In any case, such barriers are of no use when children arrive or are being collected from school. Nor are they helpful if intruders come through the given access point of the school, for example via reception.
To overcome these issues, warning signs should be placed at key points so that people know they are being monitored. CCTV warning signs are a good measure to have in place. Even a notice to say the grounds are regularly patrolled can be enough of a deterrent.
3. Fire safety
Frequent checks of your school’s fire alarm system are a must to prevent a potential disaster. On top of this, a fire drill each term will help pupils to know what to do in the event of a real fire and where they need to muster safely. Consult your local fire service if you feel your school’s fire safety systems need to be updated. As well as alarms, consider investing in smoke and carbon monoxide monitors which can save lives in schools as well as homes.
Why are emergency evacuation lists essential to fire safety preparations? Find out in our blog post.
4. Locks and windows
A good many British schools were built in the Victorian era and some are even older. This means that windows are not always the most robust when it comes to preventing unwarranted access. In some cases, you cannot even check the lock on a window works because it has been painted over many times.
In addition, door locks are often only adequate for preventing access from an opportunist. Ask yourself whether the locks on your school’s windows and doors are up to the job of preventing a determined intruder from getting in and fit new, multi-point locking mechanisms if you have doubts. This measure is among the most crucial ways to ensure safety in school from threats from outside.
5. Play and sporting equipment
Although children will inevitably injure themselves from time to time on the playing field, you can help to ensure they remain safe by offering them all of the protective equipment they should have access to. For example, school climbing frames and so on should only be installed on a rubber matting surface which helps to lessen an impact if a child falls. Equally, sports equipment should provide personal protection from impacts, especially where head injuries are a possibility. Cricket and hockey helmets are essential items nowadays and not an optional extra.
Want to learn more about why visitor management is essential for your school? Head to our education page!
6. Access control technology
One of the best ways to ensure safety in school from people who have been allowed in – for example, guest speakers, workmen, work experience teaching assistants and so on – is to invest in proper access control technology. This means you can issue temporary passes to get in and out of the school but also restrict access to the parts of the building they need to see and not others. With these modern systems, you can rescind access rights at a click of a mouse if you notice something untoward. Equally, it is possible to monitor the comings and goings of school visitors remotely via a secure internet-based connection, if wanted.
If you’re looking for a visitor management system that will improve safeguarding and security standards in your school, VisiPoint is the ideal solution. Get in touch with a member of our expert team using the form below or on +44 (0) 191 341 0016 for more information, a quotation, or to book a demo!