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A key factor in understanding the growth of the education security market is realising the actual and perceived security risks in the education sector. Whilst there are numerous reasons for implementing effective access control, common concerns include:

  • Prevention of intrusion on the premises by unauthorised people
  • Maintaining the security and safety of pupils
  • Combatting the increase in assaults on staff and pupils by parents
  • Reduction of the theft of equipment
Due to budgetary restrictions, many educational establishments have limited resources for manned security. Any access control solution needs to take into consideration this limited human resource and enable the staff to be able to rely on its effectiveness.
There are a number of key areas in which a suitable access control solution will be proficient. It must:
  • Provide a balance of security that does not hinder but enhances operational efficiency
  • Provide reassurance to parents that their children will not come to harm
  • Help protect children from each other
  • Allow teachers to perform their duties without fear


Assessing the Needs and Potential Solutions

Once it has been agreed that security and access control will be beneficial for an education facility, the next step is to decide which features will be most suitable for the application and will actively improve the security situation.

For the exterior of the building an obvious place to start is to fit external surveillance cameras as a deterrent. Whilst this could deter intruders, it falls some way short of addressing the real issues, as it offers a passive defence rather than pro-active protection for the facility.
Installing access control on all external doors is a better, direct approach as it prevents entry by unwarranted visitors and can provide an audit trail, so attempted intrusions can be investigated.

The ideal approach is to use a range of technologies, combining access control with an intercom system and cameras monitoring the entrance. This integration allows for visitors to be identified and authorised before allowing access to the building.


How Can TDSi Help?

We have extensive experience delivering projects to the education sector, having developed a number of innovative access control systems specifically for schools, colleges and universities.

Our EXgarde™ PRO management suite provides integration modules for many school attendance software database tools, including Capita SIMS, ensuring that data can be shared between different applications, reducing the need for double-entry and the risk of error.

Our sophisticated access control systems also allow educational establishments to limit access to certain buildings or parts of a building ­ the user being able to define which areas staff, students and visitors can access. If our Mifare smart card technology is installed then multiple applications may be controlled by just one card ­ for example, access control, library services and cashless vending.

Other recent technologies include our energy saving switch which ensures that lights and other electrical equipment are only able to be switched on when an authorised card is inserted ­ again helping to save energy and reduce costs.


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