CCTV for Schools and Education
If you’re a school or college based in the East Midlands, installing CCTV can bring substantial improvements to your safeguarding, student behaviour and finance, making your establishment a safer, happier and more efficient place to work and learn.
Using CCTV for Safeguarding
The most significant benefit of installing CCTV in schools and colleges is in improving safeguarding. One concern of many East Midlands schools and colleges is dealing with the threat of intruders. Whilst high security fencing, identity badges and electronic doors reduce the opportunity for intrusion into the actual school or college, one area of weakness has always been outside the entrance or in bus bays. It is often here, at the end of the day, when students congregate on their way home, that they are most vulnerable. Having CCTV cameras installed means that someone can constantly scan the area for potential threats and quickly call out those on duty should an incident arise. Modern CCTV even has software installed that can recognise suspicious behaviour and alert staff to it, making sure nothing is missed.
Safeguarding inside the school can also be improved through CCTV. Staff can keep an eye on communal areas and corridors for intruders, dangerous and suspicious behaviour, accidents or incidents of bullying. This is especially helpful during transition times when it’s far less likely that corridors and playgrounds will be supervised.
For East Midlands schools, CCTV installation can also help with the problem of truancy. Not only can it spot and help identify students who attempt to leave the premises, it can also track the whereabouts of internal truants or those that are persistently late to lessons. As such, it can have a positive impact on those students’ achievements by ensuring they don’t miss lessons.
The installation of CCTV in schools and colleges has also been proven to have a genuine impact on improving behaviour. Once students know they are being monitored and recorded, they are much less likely to bully, steal or vandalise property when unsupervised. Similarly, placing cameras in strategic places can close down a ‘smokers’ corner’ instantly.
CCTV in the Classroom
Using CCTV in the classroom can be controversial. Many teachers, perhaps understandably, don’t like the idea that they can be watched at any point during the day. However, from a safeguarding point of view there are genuine reasons why school and college managers and some teachers may want it installed. The murder of a teacher in Leeds and the attempted murder of a teacher in Bradford both took place in a classroom. Incidents of teachers and students being assaulted in classrooms take place across the East Midlands and the rest of country every day. Installing CCTV in classrooms can be a real deterrent and can prevent incidents of assault happening. If they do, CCTV surveillance can ensure that a speedy and adequate response can take place.
As for monitoring lessons, perhaps its greatest value here is to help those staff who are struggling with a particularly unruly class and would appreciate assistance. Many schools now have ‘hot spot’ systems in place where teachers request senior leaders or pastoral managers to visit a particular lesson which they know will be difficult. Using CCTV this can be done from a distance and intervention by other staff can take place if and when it is needed, not just when the senior leader or pastoral manager just happens to be passing by. It’s also the case that, just by having CCTV installed in classrooms, students will be less likely to misbehave because they know they are being watched. This can have a positive impact on behaviour across the school and, as behaviour is now a key Ofsted focus, this can only be a good thing.
One particularly important use of CCTV in classrooms is its ability to protect staff from false and malicious allegations from students. Although rare, these allegations do occur from time to time and have huge consequences. Teachers are suspended, the learning of their classes is disrupted and there is a negative effect on the morale of the entire school or college whilst lengthy investigations are carried out. Having CCTV in classrooms, where teachers are at their most vulnerable to allegations of abuse, means police and school leaders have instant access to video evidence that can result in a swift and decisive conclusion.
If, although even rarer, genuine allegations of abuse are made against a member of staff, CCTV evidence will enable the school to quickly undertake appropriate measures to safeguard the rest of its students.
How CCTV Can Improve School and College Finances
CCTV installation can also have a considerable impact on school and college finances, in a surprising number of ways. Getting it installed in the first place is likely to lower insurance premiums because, if it is used correctly, it can reduce the risk of other financial losses.
Incidents of theft and vandalism are massively reduced in schools and colleges where CCTV is installed, which is why, when there is an increasing amount of expensive, hi-tech gadgetry around in education, it’s important to keep a close eye on it. Smaller items, like laptops, can get stolen and larger equipment, such as whiteboards, can get damaged by vandalism or accident. Being able to spot who does this and have the evidence to prove it will allow schools and colleges to claim damages from parents if they wish to do so.
Arson is another area where CCTV can save not only money, but lives. Statistically, nearly 7% of schools will suffer from a fire and most of these will be the result of arson. This is much less likely to happen if the perpetrators know CCTV surveillance is taking place. Financially, even a small fire can be very expensive and its impact upon students’ progress can be devastating.
Another way in which schools and colleges can save money is in reducing the number of claims parents are making against them. Recently, parents have started to sue educational establishments in ever increasing numbers; holding them responsible for any accident that happens to their child. Too often schools and colleges settle out of court because they have no evidence to prove they are not liable. Having CCTV evidence can help them fight these cases and prevent them paying out money that can be better spent on provision.
The final way that CCTV can help financially is in preventing burglary. Schools and colleges are always potential victims because thieves know that they have lots of valuable equipment inside, much of which is poorly protected. Although high fencing is a deterrent, once through, thieves know that many schools and colleges suffer from old windows and weak doors. They also know they are empty most nights and that there are times of the year when there will be few employees, if any, inside. Add to this the fact that many staff leave expensive equipment on view around the classroom at the end of the day and you can see why they are a target. Installing CCTV can prevent burglary when the school or college is closed. Modern systems monitor the site remotely and use sophisticated software to determine if behaviour is suspicious. If anything untoward is spotted, key personnel can be alerted and the crime prevented.
If you are responsible for security, safeguarding or data management and want to know more about installing CCTV in schools and colleges in the East Midlands, get in touch with us at 247 Secure. We’re more than happy to help with your enquiry.