Is your school equipped to communicate properly during a lockdown?

The thought of your local school going into lockdown is an absolutely terrifying thought, yet it’s happened twice in the UK this month. Castlecombe Primary School in Bromley was placed on lockdown as police investigated sightings of a man in the vicinity with a gun, while a similar scenario played out at Wiltsthorpe School in Derbyshire earlier this month, when police told staff to keep children inside over concerns a man was in the area with a firearm.

Thankfully police got a handle on both situations quickly, but the schools and surrounding area stayed in lockdown for several hours while the respective suspects were brought into custody.

While these sorts of events are extreme and we hope never happen again or to your own school, how well equipped would your campus be to effectively communicate during such a lockdown, or a period of standoff? Would you be able to quickly contact everyone to ensure they’re accounted for and in the know about what they need to do?

Equations has worked with schools up and down the country to ensure they’re ready, should such a situation arise.

What do you need to have in place for this type of emergency?

Every school is different in size, layout, access and nature, but in a lockdown situation, they all share the same goal; making sure that each individual building is secure and safe for everyone inside. Moving between buildings or rooms isn’t the best way to do this, nor is that the best way to confirm the perimeter is safe either — so how can you make sure that everyone knows the situation safely?

Here are some things to potentially think about…

Which is better: individual phones in each classroom or a tannoy system?

It might seem like you’d only need one of these systems, but in truth at different times, you’ll need both. Individual handsets allow you to contact an individual room or building discretely, while a tannoy system is perfect for communicating messages across the whole school in one go. Is there any way to do both?

The handsets of our phone systems can actually do both; they can work as part of a tannoy group as and when you need them to, while also being able to rely messages to specific individuals discretely in a lockdown scenario.

Can such a system create daily improvements?

Being prepared for such scenarios is really important, but you’ll want to make sure that any money spent on such a system has added benefits that can improve things like daily communication and operations around the site.

Having individual handsets could save members of staff having to walk around the site to find a fellow member of staff or pupil or cut out long email chains about cancelled events or inclement weather.

Ensuring safety in any situation

Doing everything you can to keep pupils and staff safe is a top priority for every school. Having a phone in each classroom will allow a teacher to quickly highlight an issue in their room at the press of a button. Being able to communicate so quickly can stop an incident escalating further.

For more information on how our phone systems could help your school in a lockdown scenario or during a serious incident, or just improve day-to-day communication, give us a call on 01237 420010.

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