Types of fencing commonly used in schools

When specifying for a fencing strategy in any school, a range of products will be required to create a safe integrated security solution. Different fencing types can be selected to suit the needs of the various areas of a school, such as sports enclosures, playing fields, play areas, the perimeter, and other areas within the boundary that need demarcating or separating.

Perimeter fencing

The main functions of perimeter fencing around schools are to stop unwanted visitors, keep children safe inside the designated boundary and deter truancy. Generally, fencing around the perimeter of a school should have an open design so that it provides visibility beyond the perimeter and allows staff to keep an eye on any potential risks outside. Common styles include vertical bar such as our Barbican® range, welded mesh such as EuroGuard® and metal railings such as Bow Top, which add decorative style too. Privacy may be desired on either side of the fence, i.e. when opposite residential properties or next to a public footpath so combination fencing such as EuroGuard® Combi is ideal for creating a private but a strong boundary. Heights of 1.8m-2m high are recommend for providing effective security.

Noise reduction fencing

Schools are naturally loud environments, and noise levels have been known to cause disputes with neighbours in the past. On the other hand, schools situated next to busy roads will likely suffer from excessive noise pollution, so it works both ways. Due to urbanisation and our awareness of the negative health impacts of noise pollution, acoustic barriers are being specified more often than ever in schools; popular for their attractive timber design that can reduce noise by up to 32dB, as well as increasing privacy and security with their solid construction and lack of footholds. Reflective acoustic fencing looks the same on both sides, and is often used along roads and sports pitches, while absorptive acoustic barriers can be installed around air conditioning units and generators to reduce noise levels and keep these areas secure.

Sports fencing

Sports pitches often have welded mesh fencing installed around them for a few reasons. Welded mesh is a lightweight option that can cope with collisions from high impact sports, while staying rigid and reducing vibrations. Welded mesh fencing also offers high visibility for spectators and supervisors while allowing them to keep a safe distance from the action and the hazard of equipment straying from the court. Our Rebound welded mesh panels have been specifically designed with these qualities for sports areas. A combination of welded mesh and matching gates can be used for MUGAs (Multi Use Games Areas) which are sports areas that can be used for various sports such as netball, football, tennis and hockey, and create a safe enclosure. Ball stop fencing is also commonly seen at the end of school fields and sports pitches. With a net construction, it offers a cost efficient solution that stops balls becoming lost or hitting nearby properties, potentially causing damage.

Play area and playground fencing

Fencing around play areas is generally used to segment different year groups, or separate playgrounds from fields. Fences of 1 or 1.2 metres high provide a boundary that keeps children safely inside without being intrusive, and allows adult supervision while habilitating independent play. Anti-trap designs are vital for fencing around these areas to prevent avoidable accidents. Similarly, fencing should be good quality and made from planed timber, or polyester powder coating galvanised steel to prevent splinters, rust, or sharp peeling paint. Fixings should also suit the intended purpose of the fencing and not become loose over time; leaving hazardous nails or sharp fixings exposed to cause injury.

Storage areas

Storage areas such as bin and bike stores can benefit from fencing and gates to protect against vandalism, arson, theft and also keep pupils away from hazardous waste or recycling. EuroGuard® Combi is ideal for this as the combination of welded mesh with timber slats provides a secure solution that also hides unsightly or valuable items.

Safety and demarcation fencing

Areas that are not specifically designated for any particular activity but are used as walkways around the site will generally need some sort of demarcation, whether it is timber knee rail fencing that protects green spaces, railings providing one way systems to prevent any chance of a congestion when lessons change, or pedestrian guard rail opposite gates to stop children running into roads. Car parks should have additional fencing and double leaf gates around them to prevent children from wandering into unsafe areas.

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