Willows Primary School, Lichfield

An automated gate solution to promote safeguarding and enhance security at the school.

  • Impressive and clear road markings for separate Pedestrian and Vehicle access points.

  • The ability to segregate the two entrances for controlling Pedestrians access levels and vehicle access levels is a great benefit to us.

  • We are very happy to be able to provide an even safer environment for our staff and students to work in.

Jo – Headteacher, Willows Primary School

Case Study

School History
The main entrance at Willows Primary School used to comprise an automated barrier half way up the drive to control vehicle access in and out of the school, followed by a set of manually operating pedestrian and vehicle gates.
Unfortunately this barrier was getting struck numerous times by visiting vehicles, this resulted in many call out fees to repair damage and rendered the barrier unusable to control access for certain periods of time which was not ideal for the safety of the school.

Safeguarding Improvements
An audit was completed and it was discovered that an improvement could be made to the safeguarding of the school and to the existing manual entrance gates and fencing.
The school was presented with two of the most suitable options:
The first, to replace the fencing around the playground with a much taller alternative to improve their security within the school boundary.
With the second option; to provide a solution for the manual gates that enabled more controllable access, to ensure the external gates remain closed at all times with the exception of authorised users.

Safety at the forefront
Willow’s Primary School’s key focus was to prioritise the safety of their students, as well as their staff members, parents and other visitors to the school.
In order to provide the safest way to secure the school entrance, the second option to automate the existing vehicle and pedestrian entrance gates and remove the existing barrier proved the most preferable.
Vaults met with Willows over the period of a few months prior to the installation, whilst working through the fundamentals together with the school governors and our ground working contractors. This way we were able to prepare final specifications ahead of the proposed installation works and discuss any queries.

Security Solution Discussed
To supply and install gate automation, access control and intercom systems to the existing manual Pedestrian and Vehicle gates by our engineering team. With the removal of the existing barrier, mapping out the separate entrances, repairing the tarmac from the location of the old barrier and road painting resulted in various ground works.

Challenges for us
To minimise disruptions to the school caused by removal of the barrier and fitting of the new security solution, it was agreed that the works would cause the least disruption if they were completed during the six weeks break. The works required would take around 2 x weeks for completion and working with our groundworkers availability the next most appropriate time would be whilst the school was mainly closed.

Combating Challenges
Willows Primary School were very willing to work with us on the installation date as they wanted the works to be completed as soon as possible for the safety of the school and so arranged for the school holiday clubs to close for 2 x weeks whilst we were able to carry out the installation works. This enabled us to work safely and ensure we did not disrupt the holiday clubs whilst we worked on the main entrance gates.
Our groundworking contractors also put up the necessary safety fences and roadworks during the installation to ensure health and safety of the site. Our Vaults engineers also updated the key contacts for the school with the progress of the installation to ensure the holiday clubs were aware that the works were on track and they could return following the two week installation period, as planned.

The Security System
The installation work included utilising the existing manual swing gates on site and fitting BFT automation, full safety features, groundworks, intercom posts and access control to work with the existing Paxton system at the school.

Final completion
The installation was completed in the last week of August 2023.

A full Gatesafe approved handover, final commissioning and testing was provided alongside full training to a key member of staff at Willows Primary School. Any supporting operational paperwork and access keys were also provided during this handover.
Within the first week following the six week break numerous positive comments were received by parents and staff members, feeling as though the school looks much better and most importantly they feel much safer with the new system being so much more secure for their students. Increasing the safeguarding at the school by protecting students and in a much more aesthetic way – to match their beautiful, bright and award winning extension building!

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