A hundred years ago, the idea of security is necessary for a primary or secondary school would have seemed preposterous – but sadly, times have changed. The world is a more dangerous place, and we’re all more aware of the risks out there, so it becomes ever more important to ensure the security of our children in their place of learning.
Safeguarding in schools
Many American schools have started using metal detectors at the entrances; not only does this ensure that pupils can’t easily smuggle weapons into school, but the threat of being searched could deter them from bringing them in the first place, helping to create a safe and calm environment that’s conducive to learning.
But security in schools does not stop at the school doors; this needs to start at the perimeter; both the Building Schools for the Future and Primary Capital Programme initiatives are commendable; however, if the funds are only designed to improve the built educational environment, what about the increasing security needs of the 21st century?
Security threats to any school perimeter
The ease in which potential trespassers and vandals can gain access to a school can be greatly undervalued. As a result, the need for the standard of perimeter fencing to be improved around a school is increasing, and there is an increasing requirement for schools to protect their sites from unauthorised guests who out of school hours pose threats to both the security and safety of the school.
Whose responsibility is school security?
OFSTED, the government agency responsible for inspecting and regulating schools for the care of children and young people, does not make any audits on the school perimeter security. This responsibility is left solely to the school or academy for the day to day management of the security requirements and to decide on the types of perimeter security their school requires.
Benefits of school security perimeter fencing
Secondary schools and primary schools can both benefit from security fencing around their perimeter – for younger children, it can be an excellent way to ensure any child who wanders off doesn’t get too far, which allows them to be endangered by strangers, busy roads and all sorts of other things.
School fencing around schools serves as a deterrent for potential truants but also deters unsavoury visitors. Teenagers and young adults are at an especially malleable age, making it as important to keep other people away as keeping kids within the school boundary fences.
Schools, however, are not security consultants; they are educators and should consider the ‘School and Academy Design’ as a guide, published by Zurich Insurance. Perimeter security fencing in the guide is described as ‘the most effective of all the measures commonly available to protect a school against theft or malicious damage. An overall integrated solution suitable for school environments should always be considered to provide the school with a secure perimeter with no weak spots.
Zaun can provide schools with a full turnkey solution, from perimeter fencing and gates to bollard, barriers, CCTV and access control. In addition, our perimeter security experts are on hand to provide your school with expert knowledge and advice when specifying your security requirements.