Security: signing in

It’s important to know who’s coming in and out of the school at any given time – which is why signing in and out, and restricting access to specific areas, is vital

How do you keep track of visitors? Are there parts of your school that should be kept secure from prying eyes, but that anybody can enter? Can pupils also access information, if they try hard enough? Schools are absolutely filled with sensitive data and, while most of them work hard to be secure in terms of the physical buildings, where people can go, and the information they can potentially get hold of once inside, can be more difficult to track.

Data security is vitally important to schools – especially with the tougher GDPR regulations that came into force in May 2018 – there’s much more to think about when it comes to on-site security. On the digital side, some schools and universities employ PIN-controlled access or RFID door-protection to boost physical security and control access, meaning that staff and/or pupils carry around a card or key fob for gaining entry to the sections of the school they’re allowed to enter.

In this way schools can restrict certain areas from pupils, specific members of staff and visitors, improving safety. Areas such as the staff room and SLT offices, where sensitive information is most likely to be held, can be restricted as required with systems such as these.

In terms of keeping track of who’s on site, e-visitor books are ideal for providing a secure signing-in system; these allow schools of all sizes to provide visitors with a security pass whilst retaining a record of the visitor and ensuring that details of previous visitors are kept confidential. This protects all data while allowing schools an overview of who has been to the school, when, where they were from and where they went within the school. In the event of a breach, this information can then be reviewed for a solution.

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Visitor books also help organisations abide by health and safety regulations – something that should be high on all school management agendas.  However, all visitor books aren’t all created equal – and, with security such a high priority, the need for reliable products is at an all-time high. Research what you want based on your needs; approach a local reseller for as part of this, as they will know the products inside and out and be able to provide post-sale support. They can also, generally, personalise both visitor books and sign-in cards or key fobs for you – it will be easier to find them if they get lost, with the name of the school emblazoned upon them.

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