The Importance of Physical Security in Schools

When “security” is discussed in the business world, the initial thought that usually arises is “cybersecurity” and the dangers associated with digital security. While safeguarding data is crucial for any company and its personnel, we must not overlook the significance of “physical security.”
Schools are the cornerstone of our society, nurturing young minds and shaping the future. Ensuring the safety of staff and students is paramount, and physical security plays a crucial role in achieving this goal.
Physical security in a school setting involves measures used to protect students, staff, and school infrastructure. Well-planned security solutions are implemented to monitor attendees, deter intrusions, enhance emergency response, and provide peace of mind for all stakeholders.
Each school will have a unique approach to determining the necessary measures for campus and occupant safety. Creating a Security Management Plan (SMP) and a Critical Incident Management Plan (CIMT) is the crucial first step in this process. The SMP will outline the required actions to enhance physical security. Some items in the SMP related to physical safety may include:
  • CCTV monitoring locations
  • Access control systems
  • Fire/alarm/PA systems
  • External lighting for improved visibility at night
  • Automated gates and fencing
  • Vape and sound detection systems
  • Bollard installation
  • Visitor policy implementation during school hours
  • Digital visitor management system implementation
  • Regular evacuation and lockdown drills
Security cameras and other monitoring systems raise concerns about student and staff privacy. It is crucial to ensure that these systems are used responsibly, ethically, and in compliance with state and federal laws. This can be best achieved by developing and following a school policy that includes all stakeholders.
At Ilim College, we prioritise both digital and physical security. This year, we have significantly invested in enhancing our physical security measures across all campuses. We consistently update our school community on these improvements. Through strategic implementation of security measures and promoting a safety-first culture, we aim to establish a secure and empowering environment for teaching and learning.