Paxton Access Control

The Brief

Set in acres of beautiful grounds and adjoining a country park Hinchingbrooke House is the former family home of the Cromwells and the Earl of Sandwich. It celebrated its’ 450th anniversary in 2015, has nearly 2000 pupils and has a proud tradition and heritage in Cambridgeshire.

There was a requirement to supply an access control solution for the main pedestrian perimeter school gates at the front of the building.

The Problem

Due to the Grade 2 listing status of the existing main pedestrian gates the school were unable to make any changes to them to allow controlled access. This meant that the gates had to remain open at all times and access was allowed to anyone until they were closed at the end of the school day.

A solution needed to be found that could improve site security but still give the access required for staff, visitors and large numbers of pupils as and when required.

Adaptive IT's Solution

After consultation with the key project stakeholders, a Paxton IP Access Control solution was proposed.

Paxton are the current market leader in Access Control technologies and is already used in educational establishments at all levels across the UK, as well as high profile locations such as the Old Trafford home of Manchester United FC.

The LAN based connectivity and software based control are fully customisable which allows control to be 100% in the hands of the school. Access for credential holders can be limited to certain doors for certain times of the day which is an easy and accurate way of managing internal and external access.

The core Paxton values of simplicity and quality resonate well in Education as the technology has to be reliable and easy to manage – two features that the system delivers impeccably.


A 3rd party installed physical access gates in front of the existing school infrastructure with a dedicated Entry and Exit door on either side of a main central gate – this gave a fully secured physical perimeter to the front of the school.

The challenge then was to enable the secure flow of access before, during and after school hours for school staff, students and any other visitors.

Prior to school opening hours the default position would be that all gates would be locked and nobody would be able to gain access unless they had a valid credential.

At the beginning of the school day a safeguarding lead physically opened the main gate and the Net2 Pro software unlocked the Entry & Exit gates at either side to allow access for schoolchildren from 8 until 9am. At 9 the main gate was physically locked and the Entry & Exit doors became locked automatically by the Paxton software.

Throughout the school day any late arrivals or visitors without a credential have to report to the Entry gate where they would use the Net2 Entry panel, a video door entry system by Paxton. After a button press a video call was made to reception where they would be able to see the visitor and grant access via a push activation on the software to open the gate.

During school hours any staff member, contractor or sixth former could gain access using their proximity RFID card – only staff and some contractors could then still gain access after hours as was necessary.

This procedure created a seamless and secure flow of access and ensured that nobody was able to gain entry to the school via the this area who should not be allowed.


Adaptive had recently installed the InVentry Visitor Management system into the school reception area so it was decided that the same credentials would be used to activate both systems. This meant that Staff and sixth form members could gain access to the building and sign themselves in using one dedicated ID card, and didn’t have to have different credentials for different actions.

A physical first fix installation of the Paxton hardware and data infrastructure was undertaken and wired out to the gated positions, with a second visit to commission the system and undertake staff training to follow. 1000 existing credentials were optimised for usage with the Net2 readers so staff and sixth form students could use their Mifare cards for access as well as for visitor management, printing and cashless catering.

Ongoing Support

A scalable solution means that any amount of doors can be added at any time so a campus can adopt the system gradually – targeting the doors that require immediate attention in the first instance and then roll out the remainder as the need or budget dictates.

A comprehensive warranty for the hardware covers any physical defects and any help with configuration can be dealt with by either Adaptive directly or the Paxton dedicated helpline.

A yearly maintenance contract is available and recommended for the lifespan of the equipment to make sure everything is optimised for the site, performing exactly as it should be and fully tested to ensure reliability.

The introduction of the Paxton Access Control system to our school gates has now given us total control and accountability of all users of the site during the day.

David Riddick

Business Manager, Hinchingbrooke School

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