0370 270 6000

Security in schools – new guidance from the Department for Education

7 November 2019

Following a consultation last year on a draft form, the Department for Education (DfE) has now published extensive guidance for schools and colleges in relation to security.

The guidance stresses the need for schools and colleges to instate specific policies and plans to manage any incidents relating to security. The aim is for these policies to complement existing safeguarding measures already in place.

In addition to the designated safeguarding lead, the new guidance also advises appointing a lead person responsible for health & safety and security.

It is also advises that schools develop existing local relationships and form strategic partnerships with their local authorities and police to create a network where information on security can be shared. It is anticipated later this year that The National Police Chief’s Council will produce its own guidance to help schools and colleges determine when to contact the police. Collaborating with neighbouring schools and colleges is also encouraged.

Whilst the predominant focus is school security, the guidance also offers notes on the following:

  • Health and safety obligations
  • Planning for and management of incidents or emergencies occurring either during or outside of normal working hours
  • Business continuity management.

In conjunction with the guidance, the DfE has also issued a series of templates and checklists to cover a variety of circumstances, including evacuations, terrorist incident response and a business continuity plan.

The DfE guidance stems from the legal obligations upon employers and public bodies to assess the risks to the health and safety of employees and third parties, and to take steps to reduce those risks and promote proper practices. All reviews of security in schools should be based upon the principles of risk assessment.

So far responses to the guidance have been mixed, with some schools praising the flexibility for schools to determine policies based on their own circumstances, and others seeking more prescriptive guidance. Irrespective of individual views on the guidance, it is vital for schools and colleges to prepare comprehensive policies on security and review their current practices.

For more information, please click here.

Related opinions

Does the move into Step 4 mean the ending of Covid-19 restrictions within schools?

With the Prime Ministers announcement that he intends for Step 4 to begin on 19 July, this will also bring an end to the restrictions currently in place on education settings.

View blog

Teachers report inadequate training on peer-on-peer abuse

Despite the increased media and regulatory focus on peer-on-peer abuse within schools, teachers are still reporting that they feel undertrained and ill-equipped to recognise and respond to allegations and incidents.

View blog

Allegations of abuse in schools, colleges and universities

The website “Everyone’s Invited” is a movement which is “committed to eradicating rape culture” and describes “rape culture” as “all the ways that different forms of aggressive and violent sexual behaviour are normalised, encouraged and even admired by society”. Find out more.

View blog

Lateral flow daily contact testing paused

Following last week’s Guardian article about the concerns over lateral flow daily testing for those identified as having been a close contact of a person testing positive for Covid-19, Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Test and Trace (NHSTT) have published a position statement to recommend that daily contact testing in schools will be paused.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up