Is security in schools about technology or common sense?

Should we turn our schools into fortresses?

Security within schools has always an emotive issue, and given the recent events in Leeds, it’s been thrust centre-stage again.

There has been a tide of articles in the press recently questioning what security processes can be put into place to keep our schools safe. Installing metal detectors and security technology such as locked gates, personal alarm buttons and access control systems are all being discussed, but do we really want our schools to turn into fortresses?

One of the hot topics is naturally concerned with visitors, and how to make sure you don’t receive any unwanted ones.

Do you rely on technology to control visitors, or common sense?

The answer will probably be related to the number of pupils, layout of the school and the funding available. Small primary schools are unlikely to have the budget – or need – for extensive CCTV systems or biometrics access control technology. Others will benefit from having areas within the school that can only be accessed by staff with the right cards, or doors that automatically lock for certain parts of the day.

But what about those who simply don’t have the funds?

A lot of security comes down to common sense

A lot of ways to prevent unauthorised visitors comes down to common sense, which won‘t impact on an already stretched school budget. For example:

– Ensure only one main entrance is in use during school hours

– Keep it locked from the outside, so visitors have to call or ring for entry

– Have the entrance ‘manned’ by a receptionist or secretary at all times

– Make sure all playgrounds can only be accessed from within the school

– All visitors – even parents who are known to the school – should use this main entrance and report to the receptionist/secretary

Have a clear procedure for dealing with visitors

The easiest way to deal with visitors is to issue school visitor passes or contractor passes to all individuals, regardless of the purpose of their visit or how well known they are to the staff.

It’s important to adopt a one rule for all stance – if you break the rules for one visitor, your staff will lose faith in the procedure.

School visitor passes usually come as part of a ‘system’ that allows you to record visit date, name, host, company and vehicle information. All these details are held on a discreet bottom sheet, whilst pre-numbered passes are handed to the individuals. This creates a future reference sheet and a current fire register, which meets your health and safety obligations.

Some processes to follow:

– Ensure ALL visitors wear a badge clearly identifying them as such

– Make sure the badge is visible at all times

– Give all visitors information about fire evacuation procedures, child protection procedures and any other relevant health & safety information

– Allocate a person who will be responsible for them during their visit

– Ensure that visitors can’t wander around the school on their own – either bring the allocated person to reception to pick them or escort them to their contact

– If in any doubt, ask for a form of ID before handing out the visitor’s badge.

Make sure all staff are briefed on your policy

One of the reasons security processes fall-down is because not everyone is aware of the policy. Make sure all staff know that every visitor should be clearly identified as such, and give them permission to challenge anyone they don’t know within the school if they aren’t accompanied or wearing school visitors passes.

School visitor passes can be bought off the shelf, or customised to your own branding. You could choose to include specific school health and safety information for example.

Deter opportunists

Whilst these measures won’t be able to prevent tragedies like Ann McGuire’s death from happening again, they will put off those opportunists who look for open doors or unmanned reception desks. They are an important way of safeguarding our children during a normal day at school.

 

The benefits of custom printed visitor passes

How do you currently manage visitors in your organisation or school? If you’re in the majority, you’ll probably use a paper visitor pass system, where visitors sign-in to a visitor book and are given a visitor badge to wear around their person. This makes them easy to identify, and also ensures you are meeting your health and safety obligations.

Custom printed visitor passes can improve security further

Custom printed visitor passes make it harder for a third-party to ‘blend-in’.

Standard visitor pass systems are readily available, and are used by many organisations and establishments. Which means a third-party can easily get their hands on a standard ‘visitors’ badge, and also a standard ‘visitors’ lanyard. But they can’t so easily access a branded version.

Branding your visitor passes makes it far more difficult for a third-party to replicate them, and therefore makes it more difficult for them to gain entry.

Portray a professional image

Having custom printed visitor passes also presents a more professional image to visitors. A ‘branded welcome’ is always going to impress visitors more – whether you’re a company or a school that has parents or school officials visiting.

Personalise your passes further

As well as branding your custom printed visitor passes with your logo or corporate information, you can also include other relevant information. For example, you could include health and safety regulations specific to that location, or fire evacuation details. You might want to list items that are prohibited onsite for contractors, or highlight different access rights.

Interested in custom printed visitor passes? Please contact us for a quote.

 

School visitor policy: mainly common sense?

Security within schools is always an emotive issue, particularly given recent headline hitting events in the US.

Is your school at risk from unwanted visitors? Are your procedures adequate?

Most importantly, are staff fully briefed on your policy? Would they challenge visitors they didn’t know within the school, if they weren’t accompanied or wearing school visitor passes?

A lot of security comes down to common sense

A lot of ways to prevent unauthorised visitors comes down to common sense, which won‘t impact on an already stretched school budget:

  • Ÿ  Ensure only one main entrance is in use during school hours
  • Ÿ  Keep it locked from the outside, so visitors have to call or ring for entry
  • Ÿ  Have the entrance ‘manned’ by a receptionist or secretary
  • Ÿ  Make sure all playgrounds can only be accessed from within the school
  • Ÿ  All visitors – even parents who are known to the school – should use this main entrance and report to the receptionist/secretary.

Have a clear procedure for dealing with visitors

The easiest way to deal with visitors is to issue school visitors passes or contractor passes to all individuals, regardless of the purpose of their visit or how well known they are to the staff.

It’s important to adopt a one rule for all stance – if you break the rules for one visitor, your staff will lose faith in the procedure.

School visitor passes usually come as part of a ‘system’ that allows you to record visit date, name, host, company and vehicle information. All these details are held on a discreet bottom sheet, whilst pre-numbered passes are handed to the individuals. This creates a future reference sheet and a current fire register, which meets your health and safety obligations.

School visitor passes can be bought off the shelf, or customised to your own branding. You could choose to include specific school health and safety information for example.

Cost effective measure that won’t impact on your budget

There are, of course, many other ways to increase security within your school, from sophisticated access control systems to ID cards and biometric solutions. However not all schools want to introduce such measures, nor do they have the budget.

Our packs of school visitor passes in a system start from just £64.40 for 200 and include a writing board, wallet storage tower, pen set, wallets, clips and lanyards.

Parking problems? Car park passes could help

There’s nothing more annoying than turning up at work or school and finding that someone has taken your car parking space. Having some simple car park passes printed could make that frustration a thing of the past.

Ease parking frustrations with car park passes

We’ve all been there. You’re running late and when you turn up at work there aren’t any parking spaces left. Which can only mean one thing: people are parking where they shouldn’t.

Getting some car park passes printed is a really inexpensive way to make sure that the right people are accessing the car park. We can print 100 plastic car park passes to your own design for just £99.00 (and we’ll include 50 self adhesive holders too). These can be written on in permanent marker, so you can write on car registration numbers or names for your staff, or have a handful of blank cards for contractors.

The cards are made from specially designed tough polyester to withstand UV and high & low temperatures. They’re also wipe clean.

Problems with parking is well known to be one of the major frustrations of the daily commute. Car park passes are an inexpensive and really effective way of easing that frustration.

Design and artworking is included in the price.

Safeguard your school with school visitor passes

It’s the new school term, have you got everything you need for the year ahead? The start of September often has schools and colleges looking at security on their premises with fresh eyes, which includes looking at school visitor passes.

If you’re an educational establishment, having adequate security measures in place to safeguard pupils and staff is paramount. Are you meeting your health & safety responsibilities and fulfilling your duty of care by having an up-to-date signing in system for visitors, parents and contractors?

 

School visitor passes
Keep track of all visitors to your premises

School visitor passes and signing-in systems are a quick and easy way of identifying visitors and recording their details – and are very inexpensive. You can buy off-the-shelf packages (often known as passes ‘in system’) which include 200 pre-numbered passes, writing board, wallet tower, pen set and visitor wallets and clips from £64.40.

The visitor passes system records the names and details of all visitors to your school or college and provides a paper pass or badge for them to wear whilst on the premises. The details form a timed and dated fire register, ensuring you meet your health & safety regulations and fulfil your duty of care. A discrete sheet keeps each visitor’s details confidential.

Customise passes to your own requirements

As well as standard visitor and contractor ‘in system’ passes, you can also design school visitor passes to include your school’s colours and logo, or incorporate specific health and safety regulations or safety and fire evacuation details. You might want to list prohibited items for example, or use different colours to highlight different access rights – useful for when contractors are on-site, and you only want them to access specific areas.

Car park pass for schools
Eliminate parking problems with car park permits

Invest in car park passes to ease parking issues

Parking is often a hot topic of debate in schools. Ensure that staff and visitors park where they should by providing car park passes. The Card Network provides custom printed car park passes (so you can incorporate your own branding) from £64.50 for 100. These are lightweight polyester cards that are designed to withstand UV and low & high temperatures.

The Card Network can customise passes to any requirement. Please contact us for a quote.