Working with schools – essential funding information for school security

November 1, 2021


A new round of funding applications for the Department for Education’s (DfE) Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) is now open as of 20th October 2021. The CIF is one of the most highly anticipated funding rounds available within the education sector, providing much-needed grants for repair, improvement and a small number of expansion projects across eligible schools in England.

Safety and security project applications

The majority of funding will be allocated to projects that address condition, compliance, health and safety issues or maintenance needs. 

Successful bids include urgent safeguarding improvements, fire alarm replacements, security and safeguarding compliance works. If you work with schools, the important dates for this year’s funding round are:Deadline for new applicants to register:

• 9th December.

• Deadline for submissions: 15th December.

• Successful applicants will be notified in Spring 2022.

The DfE has allocated over £400 million to this year’s CIF fund. Although this is a significant amount, the CIF fund is highly over-subscribed every year, with projects only standing a chance of being successful if they can demonstrate a high project need and close alignment with CIF priorities.

Safeguarding – school lockdown system

As part of the Ofsted inspection, schools will be asked if they have a Lockdown Policy (this can be a simple document with guidelines). Up until recently, schools weren’t required to have an actual lockdown system installed. However, Ofsted now advocate a dedicated lockdown alarm to be in place, distinctive to the sound of the fire alarm. For this, battery powered units are recommended as they are quick and easy to install and can enunciate a bespoke message upon activation or sound one of 32 different alerts. Outputs on Alertex units can also activate access control points to automatically close and lock in a lockdown procedure.

Safeguarding – IP audio system

The Netgenium Intelligent IP Audio System is a scalable solution that includes a range of high-quality network IP speakers to deliver audio to any area of a school, college or university.

An incredibly flexible solution, the IP Audio System can be used for functions such as lockdown alerts, public address, class change schedules, music streaming, perimeter security and panic alarm systems.

Security – CCTV

Installing and maintaining CCTV systems in schools can increase the safety and security for everyone on the premises and give parents peace of mind that their child is in a school that takes security seriously.

Access – door entry and access control management

Locks and keys are no longer sufficient in controlling access to premises by unwanted visitors. Controlling access in schools is paramount and necessary as it is the first line of defence should there be a security breach. An access control system enables premises (schools included) to restrict, control and monitor the movement of persons, vehicles and assets inside, outside and around the perimeter.  

Being conscious of these facts can help schools plan accordingly and ensure all their security systems are in place and operating effectively.

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