Why Security Barriers are important for an Education Institution

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There are a few different types of Security Barriers; drop arm barriers, traffic control spikes, palisade fencing, and bollards, all of which can be useful in a place of education. By implementing security barriers in certain areas of your premises you can reduce the risk of unauthorised accessing the premises. This will massively increase the safety of the students and staff on the property, which can improve a school's Ofsted report.

Ofsted guidelines say that all schools should give high priority to getting their safeguarding procedures right, including securing the perimeter of the school to ensure that it isn’t open for anyone to enter. Security Barriers ensure that you know who is on the premises, strengthening your perimeter security.

Government guidance

To truly understand what your school needs you first have to look at the guidelines that it has to cover.

An education institute has a legal obligation under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR). You should consider security alongside your safeguarding responsibilities.

The government website states that your security policy should:

  • reflect the balance between maintaining an open and welcoming environment for learners, parents and the wider community and protecting them from harm
  • help create a culture in which staff and students recognise and understand the need to be more vigilant about their own and the safety and security of others
  • demonstrate an understanding of the issues that could impact your school or college and the wider community

Here is the link to helpful documents provided by the government if you wish to take a read: Click Here

Types of Security Barriers; Dropdown Barriers, Turnstiles, Bollards or Palisade Fencing

Drop Arm Barrier

Educational institutions typically have a drop arm barrier at the entrance to any separate car parks. They are also usually automated when integrated with access control. The barrier arm is down until access is granted and then it is automatically raised. Drop arm barriers can be automated for all approaching vehicles or they can stay down until identity is confirmed either manually confirming, access control passes / pin code being entered or even integrated for a CCTV camera with ANPR on it to permit entrance.


Turnstiles are great for controlling staff, student and visitor access. Turnstiles stop people from “tailgating” behind others as they only let one person in at a time, which stops any unauthorised entry. They can be integrated with access control like an access pass or fob to speed up the flow of traffic. They can also be a great way of seeing who has entered the premises which is great for attendance keeping. There are different styles of turnstiles, some that are half-height or full-height. Half-height turnstiles tend to be used more in schools that have a reception area where staff and students regularly enter at the start and end of the day.

Traffic Control Spikes

Traffic spikes control traffic by only allowing entrance in one direction. They are more common in universities, specifically in the car park areas or roads around the campus to help reduce the chance of an accident. Should someone drive the wrong way across the traffic spikes, the spikes will pierce and deflate the tyres. This is a great way to control traffic flow in a car park and to make sure people are paying attention and driving at appropriate speeds. They are also good for anti-theft control.


Bollards are useful for traffic management, pedestrian safety, and preventing accidental and intentional damage to a building. On schools, colleges, and university sites they are mainly useful around drop-off points and near key entrances such as reception. There are a variety of different types from collapsible, fixed, and temporary bollards yet they all offer protection from low- and high-speed crashes. Depending on the campus layout will depend on which ones are best, if you are unsure of which to go for feel free to contact us at 0330 222 0330 | info@bttcomms.com | or fill in the form at the bottom.

Palisade Fencing

Palisade fencing is a simple solution to protect the boundaries of your site whilst maintaining a view of whether someone is attempting to breach it. It acts naturally as a deterrent because of the height, lack of footholds to climb, and the points at the top. Palisade fencing is also easy to maintain, extremely durable and has a long life span. Schools, colleges, and universities aren’t always regularly shaped areas and with palisade fencing, it doesn’t matter if it’s regular in shape or not. It can easily be integrated with an intruder alarm and line beam technology to layer your security so you are instantly notified if someone breaches your permitter.

Other security options for schools:

Security Barriers are a great start to ensuring you are adhering to safeguarding guidelines and keeping staff, students and valuables safe. However, you should also consider CCTV, firearms, intruder alarms, and access control.

Take a look at our security page to find out more or more specifically our Security Solutions for Schools, Colleges and Universities page. You can also find more information on our blog page by looking under the section security.

To take an extra step in keeping important information safe you can also take a look at our cybersecurity page or read some of our blogs on cybersecurity.

Take a look at what else we can offer your educational institution: Click Here

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