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Don't laugh. Daft question about school security after last weekend

(51 Posts)
KohINoorPencil Thu 19-Nov-15 18:08:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JOEYDOESNTSHAREFOOD Thu 19-Nov-15 19:45:09

You're not alone.

Maidupmum Thu 19-Nov-15 21:04:58

I'm a HT and we have a School Emergency Management Plan (SEMP) which we can put into place in emergency situations. We feel that we're particularly vulnerable because of our vacation and intake.
We have decided upon the most secure place in the school as a 'lockdown zone' for the children and have taken all the children there in 'fire alarm conditions' so that they can get used to going there.
We'll be reviewing the SEMP in light of the Paris attacks so try not to worry smile

MrsUltra Fri 20-Nov-15 08:22:54

As a supply teacher going into lots of schools, I wonder about this, because I am rarely even informed about fire measures, and when I ask I get the impression the school thinks its over the top to ask...
I have had three fire alarms, and on real fire, and in all those cases, the kids knew where to go so I followed them.

Bigbiscuits Fri 20-Nov-15 08:26:28

the Jewish primary has high fencing, CCTV and a permanent security presence at the front door.

I think parents are asked to pay an annual voluntary contribution to pay for this.

Bigbiscuits Fri 20-Nov-15 08:27:08

Sorry, meant to write the Jewish primary around the corner from our house ....

GinandJag Sat 21-Nov-15 10:30:38

We have combination locks in every classroom and office for lockdowns.

SawdustInMyHair Sat 21-Nov-15 10:37:04

A friend of mine teaches in a Jewish primary school in the UK and they have American-style lockdown drills - kids under the desks, teachers sitting on floor with their backs against the door. They have a codename for it so the small children aren't alarmed, 'sleeping stones' or somesuch, and they practice regularly.

I wasn't surprised when she told me, but I'm still horrified that we need this. (Given the numbers of recent attacks on Jewish sites, they're not overreacting)

BitOutOfPractice Sat 21-Nov-15 10:40:16

GinadJag I hope that has all been OKed for fire safety. Eg you can open the doors from the inside without a combination right?

GinandJag Sat 21-Nov-15 10:41:12

You need the combination.

LollipopViolet Sat 21-Nov-15 10:51:16

Trainee (volunteer) TA here, and yes, I'm a bit worried. Our school is very small (think 120 people total) and rural, but I still have this nagging worry.

As an aside, I was in the States over the summer, at a summer camp and we had lockdown explained as part of staff training - I hope we don't go that way here but sadly it looks like we will sad

BitOutOfPractice Sat 21-Nov-15 10:53:43

Eek! That goes against every fire regulation going! And let's face it, a fire is more likely than an attack! That needs looking at I'm afraid!

You can get a thing called a classroom lock that will do the trick.

Seriously, if there's a fire in the classroom and you need a combination to get out, and there's panic, or there's no teacher in there, can you imagine the scenario? Or if a child decides to barricade themselves in...oh dear!!

GinandJag Sat 21-Nov-15 10:56:41

I'm only in the school temporarily so am not aware of the rational or risk assessment, but I suppose there is a balance of risks. If marauding intruders are in school you are less likely to be concerned with fire risk.

All staff members know the code, and pupils are instructed to log onto school email to receive instructions during the lockdown.

bunchedpanties Sat 21-Nov-15 10:57:27

What if the power is turned off, how do pupils log on and get the combination then?

Enjolrass Sat 21-Nov-15 11:01:33

Dds school (a secondary academy) has reviewed and practiced this week.

There isn't one place the school can go though as there are 2000 pupil and god knows how many teachers and support staff.

It's is very secure though. High fences , you can't get in without going through reception which you have to be buzzed into and they don't just let anyone in. You have to speak through the intercom and show the parent pass.

Ds primary is a little more worrying but they are also reviewing procedure.

It does worry me, but I can't worry too much or it would drive me mad while he was at school.

BitOutOfPractice Sat 21-Nov-15 11:03:55

But a fire is a much greater risk (or much more likely) than an attack. Seriously, that set up is a death trap!

GinandJag Sat 21-Nov-15 11:12:31

I'm not responsible for the system but given there are over 1600 people on site, I imagine the design is sound with appropriate attitudes to all the risks.

Pupils can access their email on their smartphones. If there is truly no access to mail, they would have to wait until someone comes to tell them the code from the other side of the door.

GinandJag Sat 21-Nov-15 11:14:03

They aren't deployed in lessons or at any other "non-lockdown" event, btw.

BitOutOfPractice Sat 21-Nov-15 11:15:46

It's not sound though. It's against every single building Reg. And if someone is killed or injured in a fire then the responsible person could go to jail. I know that's not you but if I were you I'd be very concerned that nobody has done a proper fire risk assessment at that school.

Marmitelover55 Sat 21-Nov-15 11:16:56

I work in an independent secondary school and am concerned about this. There is a big D drive and the there are no gates. The front door is almost always open too - I will be mentioning my concerns next week.

GinandJag Sat 21-Nov-15 11:18:48

I don't know how you can say that if you haven't even seen it.

spanieleyes Sat 21-Nov-15 11:34:23

I think it depends on how combination locks are used. If they are "on" permanently they could be a fire risk, if they are only activated when a lockdown is called then they are a safety measure.
I lived near Broadmoor for a time and we had regular lockdown practice in case of an escape. Children under tables, away from windows, teacher backed up against the door. The only escape in the time I was there was when a prisoner was taken on a day trip to Reading and ran away at the train station confused

bloodyteenagers Sat 21-Nov-15 11:40:47

That really sounds fucked up.
Sorry but it does.
During a time when people will be shocked and panicking. Could have witnessed their mate getting shit or something they have to access their phone or whatever to get a password to unlock a door.
They will sit there constantly refreshing when all hell is breaking loose. Panicking even more because the code isn't there. Worrying that the person has been harmed. And if they have to evacuate quickly because the attackers decide to set the place in fire..
Ridiculous.
Much, much easier to turn a knob or push a button. Not a combo of buttons.
Are they electronic or does someone have to lock the door and then put in a code to activate?

BitOutOfPractice Sat 21-Nov-15 11:45:32

Because I know (professionally) that any classroom door that needs a combination to open from the inside is not compliant with approved document B of the building regs and therefore not compliant with the Regulatory reform order (fire safety) 2005. Which is the legislation under which the designated responsible person for the building could be prosecuted if the worst happened. Unless you have an alternative fire escape door in every classroom.

I'm not criticising you personally. Just saying that your fire safety is being compromised. And if I were you that would worry me more than the theoretical risk of attack.

JumpandScore Sat 21-Nov-15 11:56:03

A governor raised this at a recent meeting (I was there as acting clerk) and was told yes, yes our plan covers all this while I was thinking what plan, where, what would I do? I must follow that up...

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