Blake Fire and Security Systems

Could Shoddy Perimeter Fencing Plunge Your School Into Special Measures?

Date: 17 October 2017
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In 2017, Kirkby Stephen Grammar School (KSGS) in Cumbria was put into 'special measures' because of their 'unsatisfactory' school perimeter fencing.

The shocking news introduced schools to a whole new world of potential pitfalls that could crop up during an Ofsted Inspection.

Take our rule-of-thumb test to work out whether your perimeter fencing is up to scratch.

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Is your school perimeter fencing up to scratch?

The Cumbrian school's perimeter fencing was found to be inadequate by Ofsted Inspectors because it was "too accessible to the public".

This could mean a couple of things:

  1. it had gaps or holes that would allow someone to enter the school grounds
  2. the fence was weak and could easily be broken down

But this single security shortfall was sufficient to eradicate all the school's good work for the Ofsted Inspection.

So that begs the question, could your school's perimeter fence ruin your OFSTED rating?

Here's a basic rule of thumb test. Your school perimeter fencing should:

  • not have large gaps or holes that would allow children to escape or outside threats to enter the school grounds
  • be made with sturdy material
  • not be easy to climb

If your fencing passes that test, great, that's a good start... But it doesn't mean you're in the clear!

Are your school's Alarm and CCTV systems next?

Ofsted's new shift in focus raises concerns over the rest of your school's security measures.

Will your Alarm System and CCTV come under scrutiny next?

Will you need to install an Access Control System to ensure you keep unwanted visitors out?

There's no telling, which is why the Responsible Person should ensure all relevant systems are in place and existing equipment meets legislation.

What about budget? New security equipment could cost a fortune!

Keeping school children safe is, and always should be, the first concern. After all, your perimeter fencing is the first line of defence and the first thing a visitor sees before entering the school grounds. It says a lot about your school's attitude towards security and the safety of the children, staff and visitors.

Of course, your Alarm System is also essential for deterring burglars from breaking in and stealing valuable equipment like laptops and PCs. Whilst a CCTV system is vital to monitor any unsavoury visitors and your pupils' well-being within the common areas, as well as outside the school grounds.

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Rather than a burden, consider it an investment, protecting your school's occupants.

If you install security systems on the cheap, it could cost you extra outlay in the long run when your less expensive security arrangements turn out to be unsatisfactory. You may need to fork out a second time to replace faulty systems.

Sadly, an Essex school experienced this very frustration because they chose the cheap option over the right one! After hiring a fireman to install their Emergency Lighting, they had to pay twice the original quote to get a professional in to fix the botched job and bring it up to regulations!

Can you say without a doubt that your school security systems are in good working condition, meet all current British standards and are maintained by an accredited company?

If not, you need to...

Take our the 4 minute school security quiz!!!

Blake's have helped over 200 schools in Essex to upgrade their school security to meet legislation.

Read our guide to see if yours is up to scratch! Click the image below to get started.

Blake Fire and Security Systems Getting School Security Right free eBook

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