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What security does your school have?

(26 Posts)
thesleepyprincess Fri 02-Oct-09 20:13:20

My DD has just started at Reception in our village school. Reception and playgroup are in the same, separate, building which has a secure, locked door. It's not perfect, as the door sometimes does not close properly if a parent just lets it swing behind them without checking it, but generally it's ok and the idea is that no one can walk straight in/ no child can get out unsupervised.

My concern is the rest of the school, year 1 upwards. There is a low wooden gate at the school's entrance which is latched so anyone can open it. Then, on the left is the school building and you can just walk straight in and be in the classrooms. Reception is to the right of the gate. Visitors are supposed to report here first, but, as I have said, if someone wanted to go straight into the school they could just walk in through the other door (which is always open). There are also two side gates into the school which are not locked. You can get onto the school grounds through these as well. Anyone could walk into the school building at any time very easily.

My query is - does this sound very lax to you all? What security, if any, does your primary school have?

By the way, we live in a semi-rural, smallish village. However, it attracts many visitors as it has quite a bit of history. Plus a canal runs through it so there are many visitors from houseboats.

thesleepyprincess Fri 02-Oct-09 20:14:26

Sorry - in the second para of my post, when I refer to Reception I mean the school office, not DD's class!

Portofino Fri 02-Oct-09 20:21:03

At ours there are 2 people on the gate in the morning, then the gates are closed during school hours. After school the gates are open, and sometimes I collect dd and don't recognise some members of the after school club. Dd has been firmly instructed that she never leaves with anyone other than DH and I.

thesleepyprincess Fri 02-Oct-09 20:27:24

Portofino are the school gates locked during school hours?

thesleepyprincess Fri 02-Oct-09 20:31:30

bump...anyone else, please?!

seeker Fri 02-Oct-09 20:39:15

Our school has gaves that are locked at 9 and not opened again until 3 and the only way in is through a secrity door that you have to identify yourself before you're let in.

And I HATE it. It's a school, not a prison.

cat64 Fri 02-Oct-09 20:46:24

Message withdrawn

IdrisTheDragon Fri 02-Oct-09 20:47:37

Ds's school is in a village and if I thought about it I suppose I would say that the security wasn't great, but I don't have any problems with it.

You are supposed to enter through the main entrance, but can get into the playground through a wooden low gate. From there, there are two entrances into the school - I don't know whether or not those doors are kept locked. Possibly they are as I think if children come late to school they can't get in through those doors and have to go through the main entrance.

So maybe it is more secure than I was thinking. There are definitely no high fences with security firms' names on them which I have seen elsewhere and do look rather depressing.

With reception, you need to fill in a form if your child is going home with someone else - this isn't the case for the rest of the school.

aircraftannie Fri 02-Oct-09 20:49:03

My dc are at an inner city primary. There is no 'security' that I am aware of. Gates are not locked during the day.

So yes in theory anyone could walk in.

But, would they?

thesleepyprincess Fri 02-Oct-09 20:56:09

Thanks cat, that's what I thought. I taught in a secondary school before having DCs and all access doors had security codes and all staff were very clued up to questioning any stranger who did not have a visitor's badge...it just seems rather naive to me that our village school has open entry to all and sundry...but I'm also an Anxious Mother about so many things that I don't know if I'm just being over-paranoid.

FabBakerGirlIsSURVIVED Fri 02-Oct-09 20:59:03

That sounds terrible.

No one can get in or out of our school without someone knowing.

Three gates are all locked from 8.55 to 3.15 with a big padlock. The little ones are let out at 11.45 and only allowed past the reception gate if their collector is there.

Years r-2 are only released if the teacher can see who is collecting them.

Portofino Fri 02-Oct-09 21:41:24

Yes the school gates are kept locked during school hours. I understand that after the tragic stabbings at a Belgian nursery, security was stepped up.

During the summer i tried to retrieve dd early from the holiday club, ie before the 4.30 pick up time, as they had shut the motorway due to a massive accident. It was nearly impossible and I got told off by the staff!

But once the gates are open, any bugger could wander in.

MrsJohnDeere Fri 02-Oct-09 22:00:03

Ds1 at pre-school in grounds of a tiny rural village primary school.

Next to no security. Gate to school grounds kept shut (but not locked) during the day. School main entrance doors open. All very accessible and easy going.

Reception and year 1 classroom doors are kept wide open. Pre-school door is the only one that is kept locked.

Children only allowed home (from school or pre-school) with recognised adults though.

Everyone knows everyone and their business here though.

MrsJohnDeere Fri 02-Oct-09 22:00:05

Ds1 at pre-school in grounds of a tiny rural village primary school.

Next to no security. Gate to school grounds kept shut (but not locked) during the day. School main entrance doors open. All very accessible and easy going.

Reception and year 1 classroom doors are kept wide open. Pre-school door is the only one that is kept locked.

Children only allowed home (from school or pre-school) with recognised adults though.

Everyone knows everyone and their business here though.

thesleepyprincess Sat 03-Oct-09 10:43:27

Thanks all. Sounds like maybe our school is not that unusual for a village school.

schilke Sat 03-Oct-09 14:41:28

Village school here too (yrs r-3). Gates to playground are shut (shut not locked) at about 9:30 and that's about it. Reception classroom has doors open onto playground. If they are shut only way in is through main door - have to ring buzzer to get in.

What are you worried about exactly? Children getting out or someone getting in. When I think back to my primary school we could wander away easily! I really don't want their primary school to be a fortified castle.

thesleepyprincess Sat 03-Oct-09 18:00:04

Someone getting in. Hugely unlikely, true, but it has happened sad

Portofino Sat 03-Oct-09 21:21:53

There was a story in Brussels last year, where a guy wandered in and took half a dozen maternelle children out of the playground at lunchtime. He took them to a local supermarket to buy sweets. He had mental health issues rather than wanting to cause harm to the children, but the scary thing for me was that no-one noticed!

sarararararah Sat 03-Oct-09 21:46:12

If someone really wanted to get in they would, whatever the school does. Or out! Our school is brand new. It has locked gates and a 3metre perimeter fence. Last year a 5 year old reception child scaled the fence and dropped down on to the road outside. The school design actually hindered us getting to him as all the gates were locked and we had to run through the school building and round another road to get to him.

FernieB Sun 04-Oct-09 08:46:43

Our school (Germany) is surrounded by forest and a public footpath goes right through the campus. There are many buildings, none of which are locked during the day. The school takes students from KG through to age 19. We can just wander in and out of the buildings as we wish. It was strange at first (having come from a secure UK school) but I quite like it. The only fences are around the KG playground so the little ones don't wander off. Other than that, no gates, no fences and no security.

OnlyWantsOneFartleBerry Sun 04-Oct-09 08:56:04

Local school here has locked doors and you have to press for attention in the school office - then they open it.

During the school day all the other doors are locked so you have only one way to go - and thats past the office.

Have you mentioned your concerns to the staff? I would if I was you.

sarah293 Sun 04-Oct-09 09:14:37

Message withdrawn

wicked Sun 04-Oct-09 09:16:30

CCTV, keypad/intercom on all external doors.

schilke Sun 04-Oct-09 11:50:53

Relax. It is so unlikely for someone unsuitable to be trying to get in.

FernieB - sounds idyllic.

BrigitBigKnickers Sun 04-Oct-09 13:19:17

We have tall gates either side of the school (that lead to the playground)which are locked during the day but all the teachers have keys to these gates so access can be gained in an emergency.

The classroom doors on the side of the school not covered by the gates can not be opened from the outside. The only other way into the school is via main reception where there is a coded door into the school. The code is changed regularly and the children are not told what it is.

The actual school gates (out to the road) are only opened during school drop off and pick up times (as members of the public used to use it as a short cut.) The only gate opened all day is the one into the school carpark.

It's like fort Knox!

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