Woodcote High School occupies a very open and accessible site and for the last 50 years, since the school was built, the security of the perimeter has not been fortress-like. For many years people have walked across the fields at weekends and students have played football in the playground during the holidays without incident. However, times have changed and the security of school perimeters is now high on the agenda in all educational establishments.
The sheer size of the Woodcote School campus has meant that the cost of securing the whole site ran into hundreds of thousands of pounds
I am pleased to be able to say that we were able to carry out this work, without diverting funds from teaching and learning, through a grant from the Government aimed at making schools more secure.
The four stages in this process have been:
- upgrading the boundary fences round the entire site
- installing electronic pedestrian and vehicle gates at both the Meadow Rise and Meadow Hill (front and back) entrances.
- upgrading the CCTV system with 55 cameras both inside and outside the school
- upgrading the outside lighting to new LED technology to improve safety, save energy costs and help the environment.
The work on this project is now just about complete and you will have received a letter from Mr Burdett on 3rd November 2015 informing you that the pedestrian will be closed between 8.30am and 3.00pm and during this time students will need to buzz in and also buzz out if they are leaving for a legitimate appointment.
This process helps keep our students safe by preventing unauthorised access and also preventing them leaving the safety of the school without legitimate permission to do so.
Sixth Form students all have smart cards which will allow them in and out of the school at specified times.
The vehicle gates will also remain closed until 4.30pm and will close again at 9.00pm when the site closes. If you are picking up students from extra-curricular activities or from evening lets please be aware of this.
Our upgraded CCTV system is here for everyone’s safety and protection and runs 24 hour a day. Images from all cameras are recorded and kept for 30 days. No CCTV images are freely available and viewing live and recorded images is restricted to a small number of specially trained staff.
All these security measures are very similar to those found in very many schools up and down the country and are part of our commitment to you to keep your children safe and secure whilst they are at school.