Perimeter security fencing is one of the primary security measures in schools and colleges for keeping pupils, teachers, and the premises safe. For too long, security fencing has been purchased and installed on the ‘cheap’, left to deteriorate for too long before replacing, not been up to Ofsted standards, and even in some cases not used at all, causing many issues with trespassing and anti-social behavior especially out of hours.
In the long run, this is costing schools thousands in damage along with the cost of replacing and installing fencing.
East Midlands Security fencing industry leaders, First Fence have researched some of the latest reports on the need to replace or install new fencing due to trespassing issues, injury, or even where the current fencing used has become old and not up to standard.
Ofsted released a statement in 2018 that failing to erect fences above 6 feet could result in schools being put into special measures.
The Secured by Design (SBD), the official police security initiative, states that “the boundary is the first line of defense and should be protected with a secure fence or railings such as weld-mesh fencing or railings over two meters high.”
Mendip Green and Oldmixon Primary Schools
In May 2022, it was recently reported by The Weston Mercury that two schools in the area had been vandalised in the space of two days after perimeter fencing wasn’t sufficient to prevent the vandals from entering these schools' premises.
Thousands of pounds worth of damages was caused to the early year's area, multiple sheds, and an air conditioning unit.
The report by The Weston Mercury stated “Those responsible tore down fences to gain access to the school grounds before wreaking havoc”
There was no report on exactly which type of fencing was used at the premises however it is clear that the fencing used wasn’t up to the job of preventing or deterring trespassing.
Wescott Infant School
The Berkshire school is seeking to install new fencing and gates due to their current ones not complying with the government guidance on safeguarding.
Bracknell news reported on 10th May 2022 that the present height, condition, and open nature of the existing fencing, and gates are not sufficient for securing the site and safeguarding the children
A new 2-meter-high combi welded-mesh panel fence would replace the existing low-level black powder-coated metal picket fencing and continue part way along the southwestern boundary - designed to prevent climbing attempts by trespassers.
In June 2022, The West Moreland Gazette reported that Kendal College in the Lake District is currently seeking permission to install security fencing at their campus. There have been several occasions where young people have been visiting the premises after hours, carrying out unacceptable behavior and causing disturbances to the local residential area.
In an attempt to keep costs down and to prevent aesthetic disruption, they had previously tried to address the situation by hiring security guards however, this didn’t prove to be unsuccessful and now the need for security fencing to be installed is unavoidable.
King's school, canterbury has recently drawn up plans to install 2.4-meter-high security fencing and gates at access points to the school's site.
Being England’s oldest school, and neighboring the historical attraction of St Augustine's Abbey, the premises have seen visitors and explorers climbing over the current fence onto the playing fields.
Their planning papers, reported by Kent Online state on the 20th June 2022:
“The southern boundary of the school’s playing field is formed by a simple and relatively low timber post and rail fence.
On several occasions in recent years, members of the public have climbed over the fence and have fortunately been challenged when found to be in close proximity to the school’s pupil boarding houses to the north.
To safeguard pupil safety, the school would therefore like to strengthen the boundary between the ruins and the school’s land.”
A teacher from a school where an incident occurred commented “A school I used to work at was broken into, with thousands of pounds worth of goods stolen, this was prior to having black V mesh security fencing installed. Following the installation, the school didn’t see any further break-ins and the fence acted as a deterrent”
First fence commented “Perimeter fencing is crucial for preventing and deterring trespassing and for keeping pupils, staff, and visitors safe which is paramount. The last thing any parent would want is knowing that their child is attending a school where their security measures are not up to standard.
Another significant benefit of having security fencing for your school is to limit the amount of vandalism inside the premises. A security fence and gate shield the school grounds from vandals during the hours that the school is closed, in addition to safeguarding children during the school day”
Is your school up to standard?
The correct security fencing is crucial to not only ensure staff and teachers are safe and to deter vandalism, but also to reassure parents that their children are safe, which is what they would expect when sending them to school.
First fence has created a guide on everything you need to know before purchasing security fencing for schools, you can read this here.