Comment from Richard Jackson, CEO Jacksons Fencing
The announcement last week that the government’s scheme to rebuild England’s most dilapidated schools is delayed, while plans have yet to be confirmed to fund the initiative, could result in a dramatic weakening of the security surrounding some educational establishments.
In May 2012, Education Secretary Michael Gove announced that 261 schools would be rebuilt or refurbished via the Priority School Building Programme. Yet press reports have indicated that the majority (219) of these projects have not yet been allocated funding which is to be sourced via private investment. A survey of the 261 earmarked schools by the Local Government Association revealed that of the 158 that replied, only 19 schools had a start date for necessary works to begin.
The poor condition of some of the schools in the programme will almost certainly include a serious deficiency in terms of the standard of physical perimeter security and access control measures supporting the site.
Whilst parents complain about the unacceptable condition of their children’s schools and the scope for this to interfere with their education, surely there is a more sinister threat to consider. As long as schools are not adequately protected by a robust security architecture they are unable to fulfill their obligation to safeguard the children in their care. Falling drainpipes and heating failures are without doubt, unacceptable but the far greater risk of unwanted intruders being able to access the school grounds could prove catastrophic.