The issue of security at schools is nothing particularly new. It has, however, become more complex over the years. For example, schools are increasingly likely to have a range of legitimate visitors during all opening hours. They are also increasingly likely to have students out of school for authorized reasons. Now, they have to manage all that plus COVID19.

COVID19 itself might not be sufficient reason to upgrade your security. After all, it should be controlled at some point. On the other hand, it is a good reason to take care of updates now, so your school gets the benefit from them as quickly as possible. Here are some points to consider.

Secure your perimeter

A secure perimeter is essential to safety in any environment. Schools should already have clear perimeter boundaries and effective gates. If they do not, then this needs to be addressed as a priority. Even if they do, you may wish to consider upgrading manual gates to electric security gates.

The big advantage of electric security gates is that they can be operated remotely. This means that you can leave them closed unless authorized traffic needs access. When it does, you can have someone open the gates from within the school building. At peak periods, you have the option to keep the gates open should you wish.

If you’re concerned about maintaining pedestrian access, then you can simply leave a small gap at either side of the gate. You may wish to fill this with a smaller, manual gate or a turnstile.

Manage your parking

Parents taking their children to school by car has long been a contentious topic. Many schools do their best to discourage it. At present, however, many parents are, understandably, going to prioritize their fears regarding COVID19 over a school’s wishes. This means that schools should expect car usage to increase and need to think about how they are going to deal with it.

Schools with electric gates are going to be at a distinct advantage here. They can have staff arrive early, either keeping the gates open or opening them on demand. They can then just keep them shut when the children arrive, except where car-usage has been agreed, e.g. disabled pupils.

If schools cannot install electric gates, then the only real alternative is to have staff “on patrol” at peak periods, managing traffic and dealing with issues (e.g. arguments). This brings up another set of safety issues.

In particular, you are going to need to make sure that they are visible, even on dark mornings. You are also going to make sure that they can call for help if necessary. In these situations, portable two-way radios (walkie-talkies) are generally a better option than mobiles.

Upgrade your visitor sign-in procedure

Traditionally, the visitor sign-in procedure has been mainly a fire-safety measure. At present, however, it plays an essential role in determining who could have come into contact with whom and hence who might need to self-isolate.

Now is, therefore, a very good time to upgrade to a digital visitor-registration system. When the pandemic is over, your school can still benefit from a hassle-free sign-in system and effective reporting.

Author's Bio: 

Newgate are specialists in providing businesses through the UK and around the world with secured access solutions such as security barriers and gates, bollards and road blockers.