Schools and places of education have a responsibility to keep their students and teachers safe whilst on the school premises. By installing a CCTV system, schools can increase their level of safety and security for all people on the premises and give parents peace of mind that their child is in an institution that takes their security seriously.
There are many benefits to using CCTV in schools, involving the safety of pupils, teachers, controlling bullying and disruptive behaviour as well as identifying areas of improvement.
Schools are often closed on weekends, bank holidays and for long periods of time over Christmas holidays, half term and the summer holidays. Criminals are aware of the closures as well as the amount of high-tech and expensive equipment that are often in schools, such as computers, laptops and woodwork tools. Installing a commercial CCTV system will act as a deterrent to intruders and show that the school has a high-tech security system in place. They are likely to move on to a new target if they think it likely they will be caught on camera.
Installing a CCTV system can also deter cases of vandalism, whether that be from pupils inside the school grounds or other individuals. Clearly placed CCTV cameras make it known to potential vandals that they are being watched and will be identified from the footage if they carry out any vandalism.
It is therefore key to have CCTV installed in areas where vandals may gather when they think they can’t be seen, such as at the back of buildings and side alleys.
Bullying is something that occurs in the majority of schools and is something teachers and staff are always trying to eliminate. Having CCTV in and around the school, such as in corridors and hallways, as well as more cornered off areas will not only deter bullies from terrorising others, but it will also help staff to identify those carrying out the bullying. This is especially useful if the victim is apprehensive about coming forward and naming their bully.
Anti-social behaviour can also be identified such as theft, smoking and drug use. A BBC investigation found that there are 160 criminal allegations per school day in the UK, with theft, burglary or robbery being the most common offences.
A CCTV system can also help to identify areas of improvement in the way the school operates, especially in terms of pupil safety. Bottlenecks and particularly busy corridors at certain times of day can be identified via the cameras and the opposed risk to students can be resolved. There may also be safety hazards such as heavy doors or steps, that are causing an issue and safety risk to pupils. These are things students are unlikely to report themselves but can be identified via CCTV, therefore helping to continuously improve the schools level of safety and eliminating risk.
Teacher safety is extremely important and sometimes overlooked. All teachers should feel safe in their place of work and a school with a CCTV system in place will give peace of mind that the premises are being monitored throughout the day. This can reduce the pressure and stress of worrying about intruders and unauthorised individuals entering the school.
CCTV in classrooms can also provide the added sense of security to teachers when an incident occurs with a student. It can alert other staff members when the teacher needs extra assistance, due to anti-social behaviour or violence, or can act as video evidence when liaising between students, teachers and parents. According to Education Business UK, children were suspended from school on 80,000 occasions for attacking their classmates and teachers in the 2008-2009 academic year.
Many parents worry about the possibility of unauthorised visitors entering a school’s premises. A CCTV system that has cameras monitoring all entrances will help give parents peace of mind that their child is safe.
Anyone who is not meant to be entering the premises can be identified via the CCTV system and staff can carry out the necessary actions quickly and effectively.
Although installing CCTV in schools does have its benefits, there are some disadvantages to consider.
CCTV systems are essentially a surveillance device and some pupils and staff may not feel comfortable knowing that they are being watched. To avoid anyone feeling an intrusion of their privacy, it is important to have full and open communication with the entire school and parents.
They will need to know why the CCTV systems have been put in place and what the footage will be used for.
Schools are often large establishments and this will require multiple cameras and devices to set up an effective and high-quality CCTV system. Costs can add up but it is important to note that a CCTV system is an investment into the school’s, pupils’ and staff’s safety and security.
A disadvantage of a CCTV system is that alone, it cannot stop theft or vandalism taking place. It is effective in deterring activity and catching the criminal on camera, but it will not sound an alarm to stop the intruder in their tracks. However, if you combine a CCTV system with other security systems, such as an intruder alarm, the combination can result in an effective method to protect your school against crime.
CCTV cameras are allowed to be set up in and around the school site to ensure the safety of the staff and pupils. However, there are guidelines and laws surrounding data protection and privacy that need to be adhered to.
Schools must adhere to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)’s code of practice for the use of CCTV. Signs must be put up to inform people they are being filmed and you must register with the ICO. You may also have to pay a data protection fee as you will be processing personal data.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a Europe-wide law that replaced the Data Protection Act 1998 in the UK. It relates to how you collect, hold and process personal data. In terms of CCTV, it is important to be GDPR compliant and adhere to the necessary rules as you are recording and collecting personal data of staff and minors. These include processing personal data in a manner that ensures its security against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage.
Installing your school CCTV system with an experienced security company, such as BusinessWatch, is important as there are many factors to consider.
According to the Department of Education, a monitored alarm system is essentials for school buildings, especially those that are remote from residential areas. BusinessWatch offers a high-quality monitored CCTV system, meaning it is constantly monitored for faults and security breaches, in which an immediate response is called out.
High-quality cameras must also be used for clear facial recognition and main areas such as entrances, IT suites & areas with little surveillance need to be covered with CCTV. In addition, fittings and cameras need to be vandal resistant and out of reach.
At BusinessWatch, we are proud to have over 25 years of industry experience in providing security solutions across a variety of industries. We have copious experience within the education sector and are fully NSI Gold accredited, meaning we work to the most stringent standard within the industry.
To begin your CCTV school installation, one of our expert consultants will visit your premises and carry out a full consultation and in-depth survey, taking into account the security needs of the school. We formulate your bespoke security strategy and provide you with a no-obligation quotation. If you wish to go ahead, an NSI approved engineer will come to carry out the installation as well as full commissioning of the system.
If you are interested in installing a school CCTV system or updating an existing one, get in touch via our online form, or call us on 0330 094 7404 for a free, no-obligation quotation.