Pupil safety is always a top priority. But with the current threat level in the UK at 'severe', it is especially pertinent. Teachers' Union NASUWT recently called for the government to put together a comprehensive lockdown plan for schools, saying that the current provision was inadequate.
When reviewing your school's lock-down provision, your tannoy system is a good place to start. Dataphone can set up a tannoy system to reach all classrooms as well as outside areas, which can be easily controlled through your telephone system in the event of complete or partial lockdown.
Situations which could trigger your lockdown procedure
- An intruder on the school premises
- A threatening telephone call
- A disturbance in the local community
- A dangerous dog on or near the school premises
- A warning being received regarding a risk of air pollution of chemical, biological or radiological contaminants
There is little that can be done to prevent an attack, so it is vital that schools are prepared. Having efficient communication systems and clear evacuation and lockdown procedures in place will give you peace of mind that you are doing all you can to keep your pupils and staff safe. How prepared is your school for lockdown in the event of an emergency?
"Ensuring that the security procedures in place are fit for purpose should be at the top of any key decision maker’s agenda....Ofsted are also taking the matter of security seriously, having placed various schools into special measures earlier this year due to lax security measures." - James Kelly, Chief Executive of the British Security Industry Association
Every school will have a fire evacuation procedure. But do you have a lockdown procedure? If so, are pupils and staff familiar with it? Do you have a termly drill? A typical lockdown drill might look like this:
- A pre-recorded alarm and message is played from the tannoy
- All outside activity stops immediately and pupils and staff to return to the building (there needs to be a means of communicating the alert to staff on break duty)
- Pupils clear the corridors and report to the nearest classroom
- Pupils move away from windows and get under the tables
- Pupils are told to stay as silent as possible
- Teachers lock their classroom doors
- Lights are turned off
- Window shutters are pulled down (to prevent any intruders from seeing in)
- Pupils and staff await further instructions through the tannoy
- Parents are informed
If pupils and staff get used to doing this, it will become second nature to them and will help to maintain calm in the event of an emergency.
Do you currently have the appropriate equipment and infrastructure in place to support your lockdown plan? The following checklist might help you to ensure you are fully equipped to carry out your lockdown procedure:
- A lockdown tannoy system which can cover all classrooms and outside areas
- Encrypted call recording (in the event of a verbal threat)
- Door entry systems to control visitor access
- Building alarm system
- Physical Security Measures (a paging/man-down system)
At Dataphone, we understand that every school has different needs, and we are committed to helping our customers to find the solution that works best for them and their pupils. If you would like to book a free telecoms consultation with one of our DBS checked school specialists, please click the button below to get in touch today.