21 Jun 2019

Locking Down School Security: Using Access Control to Protect Students and Staff

In today's world, educators, administrators and parents can all agree on one thing: the need to provide safe and secure learning environments for students is of paramount importance. This can be achieved through the implementation of comprehensive security solutions, which become crucial in the event of an incident that we've seen more frequently in schools as risks increase: lockdowns.

When any type or size of threat has been made evident to an educational institution, immediate security protocol nowadays typically involves securing the entire facility and taking all measures necessary to keep intruders out. But this is not always as easy as it sounds, as reaching all doors during the event in a timely manner can prove to be challenging. Multiple buildings, community spaces and the logistics of personnel having to physically lock doors increases risk for both students and staff.

These factors create the need for schools to leverage an access control or intrusion system that can link all doors together within a cloud-based platform for easy and central management. Therefore, with just the push of a button, security officials can ensure intruders cannot enter the facility from any point and also take advantage of muster reporting to gather and account for all students and staff.

Case in Point

The Beacon School, a prep school in the UK, is an example of an institution that turns to these innovative solutions to efficiently manage and monitor its campus and students. Administrators can separate and control the use of the school grounds and lock down areas of the campus that visitors do not have permission to access. The Beacon School can also log all access events, giving officials a snapshot of who is seeking to enter each area.

Higher education facilities have also benefited from Vanderbilt's cloud-based access control and video management solution ACT365. A study abroad university in London, for example, monitors the safety of its students through audit trails and recorded key fob activity, with the ability to generate reports and investigate situations such as forced entry and broken glass. ACT365 is also critical for rapidly identifying incidents through video footage and linking events to specific doors, allowing campus security to effectively react to situations and use video as evidence.


In the event that one solution doesn't fit all, the concept of integration has become an important strategy to help campuses achieve maximum protection. Vanderbilt’s recent integration with Allegion, for example, enhances facility protection for K-12 schools and universities by enabling users to remotely monitor and lock down secondary perimeter doors with the touch of a button in the event of an emergency.

While creating safe learning environments can be arduous, and threats to school security are increasingly prevalent, working together with technology providers such as Vanderbilt can ensure that a campus is prepared to protect its people and assets.