From the fencing around its perimeter to the main entrance gates, a visitor gets a clear impression of a schools' commitment to safety and security well before entering its grounds.
Defining its boundary and making a visual distinction between public and private property, the fencing and gates that surround and secure a school will typically meet a wide variety of other important criteria which will be explored further in this article.
For an in depth perspecitive on School Safety and Security Best practice Jacksons have developed a white paper which is freely available to download.
In some cases, such as areas with higher crime levels or where local circumstances dictate, there may be a need for perimeter fencing and gates which offer a higher level of security.
Secured by Design provide an excellent overview and guidance in their Schools guidance document.
It is preferable that the perimeter fencing allows clear views over the buildings and grounds from surrounding land and buildings to deter unauthorised entry and exit from the school, bullying and anti-social behaviour.
In some cases there might be a requirement to shield students from unwanted attention from outside the boundary or control the projection of noise into or from the school; these areas need to be identified as part of the risk assessment.
The height of the fence will ultimately be determined by your needs, your site, local circumstances, the function of the fencing required and the risk you are managing.
Wherever practical, separate access points should be provided for people and vehicles to ensure the safe flow of both to and from the boundary.
Pedestrian gates should be of a framed design and employ galvanized adjustable hinges and fixings mounted behind the attack face. On outward opening gates, where the hinges/brace is mounted on the attack face, fixings should be of a galvanized ‘blind’ coach bolt design.
All pedestrian gates should be fitted with locks and fixing features should match that of the fence.
The Crime Prevention Design Advisor or Architectural Liaison Officer at your local police station and Secured by Design’s New Schools Guidance document are excellent sources of guidance on the design of your boundary protection while the experts at Jacksons additionally can offer a free security audit of your site alongside the CPDA and provide you with a range of appropriate options and an indication of the costs, timing and process involved from design to completion of the project.