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school padlocking gate

(14 Posts)
Nerris Thu 07-Jan-16 15:59:45


Our village school has reasonable security, you can't access the R/yr1 class without a member of staff letting you in, the other classrooms I'm not so sure about but you can't enter the school through school reception without being buzzed through.

The gate was padlocked during break and lunch times.

However now all parents have been issued with a code to unlock the padlock as the gate will be locked all day from 9 to 3.

Nobody has told me why this has suddenly happened, is this normal or could there have been genuine concerns about a security breach?

There were a couple of emails expressing concerns for suspicious people seen around the school last summer, but nothing since then.

noramum Thu 07-Jan-16 16:07:54

This is the case since DD started school in 2011. I never questioned it tbh.

You have to be buzzed in to get entrance to the building but I would think a clever child (or two) can easily buzz out as the buzzers to open the doors are located at adult height level but a lot of Y6 could reach it when stretching or getting another child to help.

Isthatwhatdemonsdo Thu 07-Jan-16 16:32:20

They've probably done this if they have children with behaviour issues who try to leave the school premises when they are having a meltdown. It stops them getting out of the school gates.

WombatStewForTea Thu 07-Jan-16 18:09:23

Where does the gate with a padlock let you enter? The school grounds but not into the building /playground? Or does it mean you can get into school and the classrooms? If the latter then I'd have serious safeguarding concerns!
Before the new system could you just wall into any classroom?! Surely not?

BombadierFritz Thu 07-Jan-16 18:11:25

They probably have 'a runner' at school - a child who keeps trying to escape

admission Thu 07-Jan-16 18:32:49

This rather depends on what this has been done for. I am assuming it is padlocking a gate that leads into the playground and hence to the main reception of the school.
If it is as a mechanism to stop an "escaper" then giving the code to parents is Ok but the school is underestimating the cunning of the "escaper" and I suspect it will not be long before the code is cracked!
However if this is a safeguarding issue, then frankly it has already failed by virtue of the code having been given out to all parents, who will not keep it secure anyway. It is pointless and be seen to be so by Ofsted. Also how the hell do outside visitors to the school get in, climb the gate?
What should be happening is that the gate is padlocked at times when the pupils have access to the playground and with appropriate supervision that should be on the playground any visitors can be let in. I would also expect the R/ Yr1 class to have an outside play /learning area that is appropriately fenced off, so that visitors to the school cannot have direct contact with the pupils.

wonkylegs Thu 07-Jan-16 18:42:02

Our school has the gates padlocked all day, if you want to get in, in the day you have to go to the main entrance and be let in. It was the same at DSs old school (we moved). They are unlocked at pick up time.

Hassled Thu 07-Jan-16 18:43:27

It could well be about the needs of a particular pupil - they could have a bolter/flight risk, for example.

Industrialhelicopter Thu 07-Jan-16 22:49:29

It is usual to have all gates locked. It is not usual to give the parents the code (there would usually be a buzzer entry). Padlocks are not favoured if it is a fire exit.

Pobspits Thu 07-Jan-16 22:52:02

This is interesting. Our kids school has a playground with gates to main road - kkds don't play right next to fence but within sight and within a hundred yards of it. It is NEVER locked. Anyone could open it at any time - there are 2 gates like this. We've been told repeatedly they can't lock it as its against human rights.

BackforGood Thu 07-Jan-16 23:51:45

What Industrial said.
Not unusual to have all gates locked, but, not at all secure to then give the code out to all the parents - far more 'normal' to have to be buzzed in.

Nerris Fri 08-Jan-16 08:51:54

Thanks for your replies.

Sorry should have said the locked gate is the only pedestrian entrance and it leads straight into the playground.

The R/yr1 have their own gated off small outside play area at the back of their classroom, which backs onto a paddock, as does the preschool which is independent of the school in a small separate building but still uses the same gate entrance at the playground to enter the school grounds.

So all school and pre-school parents have the code.

It seems a bit sudden, as they only told us by email during the school holidays and only told the preschool parents yesterday.

There was a 'runner' in yr 6 last year, but so far not aware of any kids who have attempted to bolt. Although seems like a likely possibility.

Personally I think it's going to cause no end of headaches, but it's only a small school so likely can't afford a more sophisticated system.

FrancesNiadova Fri 08-Jan-16 19:14:10

It sounds like the school are really trying hard to ensure that the children are safe whilst causing as little disruption to parents as possible.
I'm sure that an absconding child would cause no end of headaches.
Perhaps this school can't do right for doing wrong...

admission Fri 08-Jan-16 21:36:41

This sounds like somebody has done a safeguarding audit and realised that they have some issues. However the knee jerk reaction is simply not appropriate when you tell everybody the lock number.
They have no means of access for visitors if they have locked the gate unless there is some kind of buzzer system to alert the school office that somebody is at the gate.

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