School visitor management is an increasingly popular topic in the education industry. A topic which is being explored by head teachers, governors, business managers and academic bodies alike. But why is everyone talking about it? And why must schools look to dedicate a vital portion of their budget to such a system?
For every school, keeping students and staff safe is of the utmost importance. Parents strive to ensure their children are being educated in a safe environment. Likewise staff seek a safe working environment. Furthermore, it’s an important criterion for Ofsted inspections of health and safety. Ofsted inspectors will examine safeguarding policies in schools and look to ascertain whether appropriate checks on visitors and staff are carried out.
Ensuring a safe environment at education sites can be particularly difficult for a number of reasons such as:
- Schools frequently receive a variety of visitors from school governors, to contractors and pupil’s family members
- Multiple entry and exit points are spread across multiple buildings/ campuses
- Increasing modern security threats including gun violence and terrorism
With the above-mentioned challenges, it’s no wonder that school visitor management has become such a hot topic, with visitor management systems being installed across the UK. While it seems like a no-brainer for many schools, constraints on school budgets means that the final decision to invest in a system takes a lot of consideration.
Let’s go through 5 reasons why schools should invest in school visitor management today…
School visitor management improves evacuation procedures
Implementing a school check-in system can vastly improve evacuation procedures. We know it can be pretty difficult during a fire drill to carry out a quick roll-call and make sure everyone is accounted for. This can be an especially slow process when you’re using a paper-based visitor book and sign-in sheet as you try and verify the whereabouts of visitors and contractors. Using a digital sign-in system, this process becomes more efficient as instant emergency lists can be accessed from any desktop or mobile device. Find out more about VisiPoint’s evacuation list feature.
Multi-building or multi-campus schools can be managed from single location
Multiple buildings can be a challenge to manage when it comes to the safety of a school campus. For example, if visitors, staff or contractors can enter/ exit from different buildings it can be problematic to guarantee that every visit is accounted for and that everyone signs in and out properly. For example, if someone enters from the main reception area and signs in using the visitor book, but they exit from another location where no reception is present, will it be assumed that they are still in the building? With a digital school check-in system, you can employ a main terminal at the main reception. Then you can also have smaller terminals at each entry/exit point to ensure the system is kept up-to-date with the relevant data.
Authorised access only
With a school visitor management system, schools can ensure that visitors agree to specific terms and conditions before entering. Contractors are granted access to specific areas based on their relevant safety certifications. This makes it easier to keep a record of who has had access to certain locations, over a certain time period. Repeat contractor visits are smoother as all their details are saved on the system.
It’s time to modernise
Today, more and more schools are using technology effectively in different operation areas. For example, deployment of advanced security systems like intruder and personal-attack alarms through to interactive learning technology. Often the reception area is overlooked when it comes to technology upgrading. Why not use technology in the reception area to streamline processes and improve safeguarding too? Paper-based visitor books and sign-in sheets are inefficient, insecure and do nothing for a school’s image.
Integrated control makes every day processes easier
School visitor management systems can be integrated with existing door access control systems. An integrated RFID reader means staff can sign-in/out simply by swiping their existing door access card on the terminal. Additionally, the system can be integrated with a school’s management system such as SIMS, effortlessly streamlining processes for staff.
The 5 reasons highlighted should give you a thorough idea of the current drivers for implementing a visitor management system, and why schools are actively evaluating their options.
Is your school employing effective safeguarding policies? Do you have a real-time record of all visitors and contractors that have been in the building this week? Lead the way in school safety when you install a school visitor management system today. Learn more now!