At Glan-yr-Afon Primary, the pupils should work and learn in a safe and secure environment. Parents need to be confident that the school provides such an environment. Staff should feel that the Governing Body has done everything it can to make the school a safe place in which to work.
At Glan-yr-Afon, we are acutely aware that the children and staff might be vulnerable to assault while on the premises. The personal safety of the whole school community is paramount; the Governors and staff take the threat of assault, arson and vandalism very seriously. Glan-yr-Afon takes stringent measures to reduce the risks and support fully members of staff or pupils who are the subject of assault. The Police are notified and legal action taken, if necessary.
Roles and Responsibilities
Overall school security is the responsibility of the employer. At Glan-yr-Afon, this is the LEA and school governors. The Head Teacher is responsible for implementing the security policy.
The Governing Body of Glan-yr-Afon has drawn up and agreed the Security Policy with the staff .
There is a Governor responsible for Health & Safety, including school security. The school’s Health & Safety Committee meets annually to review safety, including security, and reports to the full Governing Body. The School Safety Committee reviews the Security Policy annually. The Governors report security issues in the annual statutory report to parents.
The Head Teacher at Glan-yr-Afon is responsible for implementing the Security Policy. He should ensure that standard procedures are in place to minimise risk and that all staff are fully aware of the security arrangements and of their own responsibilities, receiving such training as is necessary to fulfil those responsibilities.
The Head Teacher should ensure parents and older pupils are fully informed of the security policy and encouraged to help.
There are regular risk assessments of security every term and regular routine security checks. Advice is obtained from the Police on security matters and all crimes are reported to the Police. The Head Teacher reports regularly to the Governing Body and, where appropriate, the LEA.
The Head Teacher is responsible for the security of the premises during the school day; in his absence the Deputy Head Teacher assumes this responsibility.
Teaching and non-teaching staff should be fully cognisant of the security procedures and know how to:
♦ protect pupils from harm
♦ guard against assault
♦ safeguard property
♦ contact the police/emergency services
♦ implement the emergency procedures and critical incident plan.
New staff are informed of the school’s security policy and of their responsibilities before taking up their post.
As the children progress through the school, they are made increasingly aware of the security procedures. They should be encouraged to assist with these procedures when possible. Within the PSHE and Citizenship curriculum, the pupils will be taught about personal safety and social responsibilities.
The parents of pupils at Glan-yr-Afon are kept fully informed of security procedures, and of their responsibilities when visiting the school, in the:
♦ School Prospectus
♦ Pre-school Parent’s Evening discussion
♦ Weekly newsletters
♦ Governors’ Report to parents.
Glan-yr-Afon values co-operation from the local police and community in assisting security arrangements for the school site and the surrounding area. The school communicates with the local Community Laison Officer and the community Neighbourhood Watch on security matters. Local residents are encouraged to report incidents directly to the police.
The Police are called immediately if there is an incident of a violent, aggressive or abusive nature. The Police should be called immediately when a child goes missing, for example after school. Do not wait until a search has taken place.
Local schools are informed on current matters of concern, for example if a stranger is spotted loitering outside the school.
Control of Access
Glan-yr-Afon has a policy of welcoming visitors; however, we realise that problems can occur with angry parents, disaffected young people, criminal trespass or even child abduction or assault. To minimise the risk to the school community, especially the children, we have introduced procedures to limit access to the school site.
The school grounds are bounded by security fencing, and access to the school car park is restricted to staff, contractors and deliveries. All children enter the school grounds via the pedestrian school gate/s, the infants through pedestrian gates and doors at the rear of the infant block and the juniors through pedestrian gates and doors at the rear of the Junior block. During the school day, these access points are locked, when visitors and late arrivals should enter through main entrance in the front of the Junior block.
Parents are not allowed to drive their cars into the school car park and are asked to wait in the areas outside the entrances when collecting their children.
If a stranger is seen on the school grounds, a member of staff should establish his or her identity and the reason for the visit. If the reason is not legitimate, the stranger should be asked to leave.
Access to the School Building(s)
To prevent unauthorised or unknown visitors entering school, security locks are fitted to all external doors (excluding the fire doors, which open only from the inside), apart from the main entrance to the school, which has an intercom release system/internal door locking system.
All office doors should be locked when not in use and all cloakroom/external doors closed at the end of break times.
All visitors to the school should report to the Reception area and Main Office, which is clearly marked. In the first instance, visitors will be met by the Administrator; they will be asked to sign in and give the reason for their visit.
Visitors are escorted by the Administrator to the member of staff requested – or asked to take a seat while the member of staff is contacted. The member of staff then comes to collect the visitor. All visitors are expected to wear a badge before they are allowed into the main part of the school.
No visitor is given unrestricted access to the school; this includes parents. All children and staff are alert to unrecognised adults in school. Children should report strangers to the nearest member of staff. If a stranger is noticed in school, staff should establish his or her identity and reason for the visit.
If, at any time, an unsatisfactory reason is given, or proof of identity cannot be produced then the member of staff concerned should ask for assistance from the nearest colleague. The unauthorised person is asked to leave and escorted from the premises, as they are committing a trespass. If that person refuses, becomes aggressive or damages property, no attempt should be made by staff to eject the intruder and the police should be called immediately.
(NB: Some schools refer to those parents/visitors who have permission to enter the school as being ‘licensed’. It is important to remember that the licence/permission can be withdrawn/revoked/denied.) Parents are have permission to enter the school premises. However, they should act as any other visitor to the school, complying with the appropriate school arrangements. They should not roam at will around the school, enter classrooms or interfere with members of staff carrying out their professional duties.
If parents wish to take their child/children out of school during the school day, they should report to the Main office. A request to take a child out of school should normally be made in advance in writing requesting leave of absence. They will be required to sign a record of why and when they have removed their child from the premises.
Glan-yr-Afon is not a public place to which any member of the public is entitled to have access. Any person who enters without permission is a trespasser; trespassers are asked to leave. Trespass is not a criminal offence; however, if a trespasser refuses to leave the school premises, causes a disturbance or enters after being requested to leave, such behaviour could constitute a criminal offence under section 547 of the Education Act 1996.
If a parent is causing a disturbance, becoming abusive or violent towards a pupil, member of staff or another parent, the Head Teacher of Glan-yr-Afon might revoke the parent’s permission to be on the premises by taking the following action.
♦ The parent can be asked to leave and will be told ‘I am revoking (withdrawing) your permission to be on the school premises’.
♦ If the parent still refuses to leave willingly, the Police are called.
♦ A formal letter from the Head Teacher,LEA or Governing Body>, confirming the parent’s permission to visit the school has been revoked and that there is a five-day period in which to make representation.
Formal notification is important, as their human rights are being affected.
Extra information can be obtained from the LEA Personnel Handbook
The police should be called immediately if there is an incident that is causing concern of an aggressive, abusive or violent nature.
Entering and Leaving School
All children enter and leave the school by doors located in the infant and junior blocks. The front door is to be used only if a child arrives after 9.10am, when they should report (that they are late) to the office.
All parents are asked to wait outside the school building/outside the school building in fine weather and inside in the covered area by the school entrance.
Supervision of School Grounds
Children are supervised at all times when in the playground(s). Supervision is by teachers and support staff in the morning and by the Midday Supervisor and Welfare Staff at lunch-time.
Leaving School at the End of the Day
At the end of the school day, the older children leave by the Junior block. All of them know that, if the adult who should collect them has not arrived, they should come straight back into the building and stay with their teacher. After ten minutes, if no one has arrived, the teacher takes the child to the office and telephones to see what the delay might be. The child stays in the office until an authorised adult arrives. No child is allowed to leave unless we are sure they are safe. The youngest children should remain in the school until an authorised adult collects them from the doors in the Infant block. No child is allowed to leave until they are “matched” by a teacher to the authorised adult. Parents are asked to inform the school if there is a change in the authorised adult collecting their child at the end of the day.
Some children go home by taxi. All taxi drivers report to the office on arrival, show their identification and state the name of the child they are collecting. Children who travel home by taxi wait in the office.
Leaving School During the Day
No child is allowed out of school for an appointment during the day, unless a known adult arrives to collect him or her and reports to the office first. Prior notice should be given to the school. The authorised adult signs a record book of when why and who collects the child before the child is released.
Security of Personal Propert
Children should not to bring anything of value to school. Individual staff are responsible for their own property. Each member of staff is provided with a secure locker and the staffroom and office have security locks. The last member of staff to leave the room should close the doors securely.
Security of Equipment and Cash
Main items of school equipment, for example computers, TVs, videos, are security marked. Any cash on the premises is kept in a secure cabinet but money is banked weekly.
Security of Building
An effective intruder alarm is in operation. This is always set when the school is empty. Individual areas can be isolated from the alarm circuit when an after-school activity is being held.
CCTV has been installed and large warning signs have been placed on the outside of the school building. Security lighting has been installed.
It is the responsibility of the class teacher to make sure that their classroom is secure, the windows closed and equipment switched off, before leaving the premises.
The Head Teacher, the Deputy Head Teacher and Site Supervisor are designated key holders and are responsible for the security of the building and the LEA is responsible for patrolling the school during closure and acts as key holder in an emergency.
It is the responsibility of the Site Supervisor to check daily that all locks and catches are in working order, that the emergency lighting is working, that the fire alarm has no faults, and that the CCTV and security system are working properly.
Before leaving the premises, the Site Supervisor has a duty to ensure that all the windows are closed, that the CCTV is recording, that the doors are locked and secure, that the security alarm is set and that all gates are locked.
Contractors in School
When contractors are working in Glan-yr-Afon, the following precautions should be taken:
The Head Teacher agrees a convenient time for the work to be completed – out of school time if possible – and school staff should be made aware of the work taking place and the Health and Safety issues. The Premises Manager should check regularly that the work is being carried out safely.
Contractors should report to the reception area on arrival and before leaving, signing in and out. When on the school site, badges, identifying the company for which they work, should be worn at all times. Contractors should complete maintenance logs, and sign the Asbestos Log book when appropriate.
Contractors should take extreme care with building materials, ladders, tools and any other equipment. Health and Safety standards should be observed throughout the period of the contract. On completion of the contract, any relevant documentation should be obtained, for example electrical test certificates.
Access Outside School Hours
On occasion, staff, pupils or contractors require access to the school out of normal school hours, in the evenings or at weekends and in the holidays. Glan-yr-Afon is aware that some staff are working on the premises before and after school and their security has to be safeguarded.
No person should be in school on their own, if at all possible. If this is unavoidable, all the doors should be locked and the staff member should work close to or have access to a mobile ‘phone.
Curtains and blinds should always be closed in the evening, but especially if staff are working late. When the part of the building is used for evening classes, students should have access to this area only; the remainder of the building should be locked and alarmed.
The Site Supervisor should stay on the premises when the school is being used by club/group/agency and secure the premises afterwards.
Fire Detection Systems
At Glan-yr-Afon, we acknowledge that one of the most serious threats is arson and to reduce the risk, we take the following precautions.
Fire detection and alarm systems are in place throughout the school and tested regularly. Fire drills take place each term. All fire exits are kept clear at all times and neither left open, nor locked from the inside.
The school grounds are kept clear of litter and movable objects that could be used to start a fire. The school refuse bins are locked to prevent intruders or pupils using them to start fires or as a means of access to the roof.
It is a criminal offence to carry an offensive weapon or knife onto the site. Offensive weapons are defined as ‘any article made or adapted for causing injury to the person, or intended by the person having it with him for such use by him or some other person.’
At Glan-yr-Afon, the Head Teacher ensures that all staff are trained to handle incidents involving an offensive weapon. If it is judged that the circumstances are innocent, the matter is dealt with on a disciplinary basis. If there is any doubt, the police are summoned and they assess the seriousness of the incident.
Staff are under no obligation to search a pupil whom they suspect is carrying an offensive weapon. If the child agrees to co-operate, a search might be the least inflammatory way to prevent violence. When a child refuses to co-operate, the search can be carried out only by the police. At Glan-yr-Afon, we will make every effort to ensure a parent or guardian is notified as soon as possible, so they can be present during the search and subsequent investigation.
When the person suspected of carrying an offensive weapon is not a pupil at the school, or an incident occurs off the school premises, the police are informed and they carry out the search and an appropriate investigation.
Confiscation of Weapons
Staff take possession of a knife or any weapon brought to school by a pupil. The following staff are authorised to do this
Deputy Head Teacher
Year group Leaders.
The item is locked away; staff should either:
♦ arrange for the parent or guardian to take the weapon away, if circumstances indicate this to be a reasonable course of action. However, in no circumstances should some weapons – e.g. flick knives and knuckle-dusters – be returned.
When weapons are returned to parents, a record should be kept by the school .
♦ arrange to surrender the weapon to the police without delay and inform parents of any police involvement.
Any warning Glan-yr-Afon receives about such a threat is treated seriously, with the safety of the pupils and staff paramount.
Staff should be vigilant at all times and report anything suspicious, for instance suspect packets, unrecognised vehicles in the car park or persons in unauthorised areas.
Incendiary devices are generally designed to ignite after a pre-determined time. Staff should not handle a suspected device, as it could kill or maim anyone nearby. The immediate vicinity should be evacuated and the police summoned.
If staff receive a suspicious package, which could contain an explosive device, they should put it down very gently and walk away. The package should not be immersed in water, nor should anything be placed on top of it.
Staff should evacuate the immediate area and raise the alarm before calling the emergency services.
If Glan-yr-Afon receives a bomb warning, Head teacher or in his absence the Deputy Head have specific and individual responsibilities and all staff have a duty to prevent panic among the pupils and their colleagues.
Staff should follow a strict procedure.
♦ Alert everyone in the school by using the fire alarm system and evacuate the building.
♦ All staff and pupils should assemble on the school field, well away from the school car park and buildings.
♦ Call the Police.
♦ Neither staff nor pupils should attempt to search the school building.
♦ If the Police request assistance from staff, it is an individual and voluntary decision whether to do so.
♦ An overriding priority is the supervision of the pupils.
Pupils should not return to the building, until the police declare that it is safe.
If the security of the school is breached, leading to a critical incident (or example, a pupil or member of staff being attacked), the Critical Incident Policy is implemented with staff and Governors responding to the procedures.
All incidents of crime and losses are recorded in the Incident File, including information on the date, time, location, cost, staff, parents involved, action taken, and so forth. The Police and LEA are notified.
A review of incidents over the year is distributed to the Governors and parents.
Review of Policy and Procedures
The Building/Health and Safety Committee of the Governing Body reviews this policy and the procedures on an annual basis. A risk assessment is completed, based on LEA Guidelines on School Security.