Access Control

Southfield Primary Academy


Paxton Access Control fob with RFID Reader
The Brief

Southfield Primary Academy are a Nursery & Primary School based in the heart of Brackley, Northamptonshire with approximately 300 pupils.

With pre-school breakfast club, lunch club and after school activities, this site required access for people from early in the morning until late afternoon and early evening. The concern was unsecured and unlocked doors being able to be accessed as no control system other than traditional locks and keys were in place which were not versatile enough for the requirements of the school.

Safeguarding and security would need to be improved as a result of a new system being installed.

The Problem

The existing set up meant that the school were reliant on doors being physically unlocked at the start of the day by site staff and then locked again once all people had gone home. This meant the site was vulnerable to incursion by unauthorised personnel between these times or for pupils to be able to escape the site if they evaded supervision.

Additionally, as areas of the school were available for hire other non-staff members were able to access some locations unchecked out of hours and this was far from ideal especially if no on-site supervisor was present on the day.

In the event of an emergency there was no way for either a “lockdown” to be initiated where all perimeter or internal doors could be made secure or conversely a way all locked doors could be opened immediately should the need arise as in a fire evacuation.

Adaptive IT's Solution

After consultation with the key school employees, the Paxton 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 or for certain times of the day which is an easy and accurate way of managing internal & 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.

Recommendation

A secure perimeter was achieved by targeting all external doors and an outside gate connected to the Nursery School playground. This meant that no person without a valid credential would be able to enter any of the buildings and thusly all visitor traffic was funnelled towards main reception to be initially vetted and enrolled.

For the secure side of the door which was typically external, a proximity RFID reader was installed on the periphery of each entrance which activated a magnetic lock when a valid card was presented.

On the opposite side a high level push-to-exit button was employed to allow exit which was also teamed with an emergency break glass button as an extra fail safe to guarantee passage out of the building.

Time sensitive software configurations ensured doors were locked between certain times of the day and unlocked automatically to fall in line with specific requirements such as break-times to create a seamless and controlled flow of access throughout the day as required.

Contractors or outside parties who needed access had the option of being given guest credentials to be used to access parts of the premises again with specific access to certain areas or doors or for a certain time period.

Implementation

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 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 dedicated data outlet was installed for each of the doors as all of the locking mechanisms and door furniture additions as the part of a physical first fix with a second visit to commission the system and undertake staff training to follow.

Ongoing Support

The 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 security of a school campus has never been of greater importance, especially with regards to the safeguarding of pupils.

IP Access control provides a modern delivery system able to supply the required fluidity and complex accuracy of access for staff and visitors whilst also being incredibly easy to manage by school staff.

Ross Alexander

Project Manager, Adaptive IT Solutions

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