School Access Control – Boston Witham Academies

The problem …

Security and safeguarding within education establishments is of paramount importance, not only for pupils, parents and guardians but also for staff and governors. Access control systems prevent unauthorised access and are pivotal to the security of any school, college or university during the teaching day. So when the Boston Witham Academies Federation approached us to review their security requirements and the long-term effectiveness of their existing access control systems, we were dedicated to provide a service that would meet their needs both now and in the future.

The Boston Witham Academies Federation is made up of four academies, the Haven High Academy which provides secondary learning, including a sixth form, the Carlton Road, Wygate Road and Staniland Academies, which are all primary schools catering for children from the age of three through to eleven years of age. The Federation were looking for a common access control solution across all four sites that would provide them with ease of operation, control and configuration. There was the need for any new solution to easily integrate with existing provisions and provide flexibility for the addition of new doors in the future, for example, resulting from site expansions or the addition of a new Academy.

The GBSG solution …

Through knowledge, understanding and listening to our client needs we were able to address the Federation’s requirements. Our solution was to support all sites with a common access control platform, linked over the Federation’s entire network, which is highly effective, easy to use and manage and provides data rich information. The system we installed was the Paxton Net2 system which allows a single control and programming point. The Federation chose Haven High as the central location and from this site the school administrators are able to add and remove users with ease and have the flexibility to programme individual user’s cards to cover different sites, for example, when staff are covering for holidays and illness.

The proximity cards compatible with the Paxton Net2 system are also used as ID cards which are printed directly from the access software and programmed for the individual user. We provided a colour printer as part of the package and assisted in configuring a simple data solution to remove the reliance on manual data entry, thus enhancing the overall efficiency of the system as nearly 500 users can be added within minutes from an existing document.

The benefits …

Paxton Net2 system is capable of being expanded up to 1,000 doors and 10,000 users. This is a great feature to help future proof, as it allows for additional Academies, school refurbishments (extra doors being added) and/or restructures to be implemented with ease. In addition, this system also provides excellent flexibility through configured zone and timed control, so during the timetabled lessons, staff have greater control over who accesses a particular room or area.

This system aids in the prevention of unauthorised access through high quality access control measures, an excellent feature for daytime security and personal safety. This is imperative for every conscientious school and also shows how a school is taking all necessary steps to safeguard pupils.

The access control system also has been configured to the existing fire alarm system, meaning that the doors will open automatically upon operation of the fire alarm system.

System summary

  • Net 2+ access control unit
  • P50 proximity readers
  • Magnetic maglocks
  • Push to exit buttons
  • Break glass detection
  • Interface to the school’s fire alarm system (including external gates)
  • In the event of a power failure, all doors have back-up batteries.

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