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CCTV in the UK is nothing new. But CCTV systems in UK schools? It feels like something we’d expect to see in the USA, but not here in the UK. So you may be surprised to learn that the installation of CCTV in schools and colleges across the UK is on the increase.

Independent schools have, for a while, realised the benefits of protecting their assets. Now the trend is growing and schools of all shapes and sizes are waking up to why installing CCTV is worth every penny.

If you’re a Site Agent, Business or Office Manager and you’re concerned about security, read on!

What’s all the fuss about CCTV?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in a far-flung country, you should be reasonably au fait with the rapid rise of CCTV on our streets and in public places. Large cities, in particular, now have thousands of cameras operating, creating digital surveillance networks to monitor the behaviour of citizens.

In principle, CCTV is an excellent tool for security and safety. As the saying goes, ‘If you’ve got nothing to hide, what’s the problem?’

We believe the benefits of CCTV far outweigh the negatives which may be put forward by parents or staff at your school. Invasion of privacy is the prevailing concern. In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits so that if it’s your job to oversee CCTV installation, you’ve got all the facts you might need.

Our CCTV is designed for commercial use. It’s created using the latest technology, is weather-resistant and vandal-proof and can be integrated with other security systems such as access control and intruder alarms.


How do I know which CCTV system I need?

CCTV is a simple concept but knowing which system is right for your school premises isn’t always obvious.

As part of an overall security risk assessment, we will:
carry out a thorough survey (internal and external) of your school buildings and classrooms
identify weak spots and areas where you’ll benefit from continual surveillance
help to manage concerns about privacy of invasion
submit a proposal outlining the results of our assessment
make suggestions for a suitable CCTV system for your school

The benefits of installing CCTV will vary from school to school; let’s review some of the most popular reasons for choosing CCTV.


Protect children and property with a school CCTV system

An obvious – and very important – reason to install CCTV is the long-term protection of the people in your school, both children and staff. Child protection is taken so seriously by educators that a designated child protection staff member is mandatory in all schools. What better way to support their efforts than with CCTV?

It’s also a great way to deter criminal activity. When empty, schools are an easy target for thieves with guaranteed, rich pickings: IT and laboratory equipment including top of the range microscopes, laptops, cameras, HD TV screens and projectors.

If a crime does take place in your school, CCTV can alert you to what’s happening, enabling you to call the police while gathering vital evidence on an integrated hard drive. This is particularly useful for validating insurance claims.


Prevent incidents before they occur

Bullying in schools is a serious problem which staff deal with every day. Incidents rarely occur in places where they can be witnessed and this makes it even harder to manage.

In large schools, being able to monitor student activity with CCTV starts to put the control back in your hands. It also eliminates the ‘he said, she said’ scenario where no-one can prove what actually happened. If a bullying incident is caught on camera, it gives staff the tools to deal with everyone involved, proactively and fairly.


Integrate your CCTV with other security systems

Integrating security systems harnesses the power of each technology and multiplies it. A CCTV system on its own is a great first step, but when it’s integrated with other security systems, you start to realise the positive impact it can have.

We offer full integration of all security, lighting and fire safety systems. If you have an intruder alarm, electronic access control or intercom system, they can all be connected to your CCTV. Understandably, some decision makers are put off by potential disruption, but with new technology this is markedly reduced. Wireless systems limit the need for drilling into walls and down time is also lower.

And of course, everything can be controlled remotely from a tablet or smartphone which means that even when your school is closed, it’s still protected.


Guaranteed out of hours protection

How does this work? Before monitored surveillance, the only fool-proof way to catch a crime in progress would be to hire a 24/7 security guard. While this is still viable for large corporations, for schools with limited resources, it’s a pipe dream.

Enter remote monitoring. Perfect for large or empty sites, it provides the continuous monitoring that schools need but can’t afford. If an incident occurs, the system triggers an alert which is picked up by an operator, based at a remote monitoring centre. First, they evaluate the situation, to check if it’s sinister or not, then they alert the authorities or contact a named key holder.


Save money on your security

Although CCTV comes at a price, it’s rarely as expensive as people imagine and pays for itself in the long run. Investing in some sort of security is unavoidable and as is often the way, cutting costs in the beginning costs more in the end.

Many of our customers report that their security bills go down once they install CCTV. It’s an excellent deterrent, particularly of petty theft and crimes which are an annoying waste of your time and always cost money to correct. Larger schools with expensive equipment on site should always consider CCTV an essential part of their infrastructure.

Remember that a maintenance contract for your CCTV is also an excellent cost-saver. Ignoring your system until it breaks down is never advisable. We offer a range of maintenance contracts or we can create something tailored to you and your school.


How a Harrow school chose their CCTV

Case studies are a great way to explore the decisions taken by other schools in similar situations. In Harrow, Marlborough Primary School were undergoing major building works, which involved demolishing old school buildings and reconstructing the school site.

We were excited to be awarded the security contract and knew we could make a difference. Although Marlborough is a primary school, it’s a large primary with over 700 pupils and staff. Following a risk assessment we developed a strategy which we knew would provide round-the-clock security for the school.

The CCTV system included high definition IP cameras which were installed outside and linked to a large colour screen inside for live monitoring. The system was on day and night and the recordings were backed up to a hard drive.

Other security features included an audio intercom with key fob access at the main entrance and access control to protect children inside the school.

Have you thought about CCTV in your school? Discuss the benefits and provide your pupils, staff and property with the protection they deserve.

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