Schools play a pivotal role in our communities, and the education of young Australians is critical to the continuing development of Australia on the world stage. The ongoing success of Australia’s leading education system relies on state of the art equipment, the availability of modern learning resources for all students, and the ability of schools to maintain a safe and secure learning environment.
Why Do Schools Need Security Fencing?
Unfortunately, those same valuable technical items can make schools a target for theft, and schools have traditionally been seen as soft targets for vandalism and arson. Such crimes against school property place a heavy burden on school finances and ultimately on the community and taxpayers.
Fortunately, there is a very effective solution: security fencing. According to a parliamentary report properly designed school safety fencing can reduce arson and breaking and entering by 50%, vandalism by 71%, and trespass by 88%.
However, the price of crimes against schools is more than simply financial—community self-esteem is quickly eroded by destruction of school property and research has demonstrated a strong correlation between poorly maintained school grounds and increased vandalism.
The safety too of students is paramount. Recent high profile cases have highlighted the danger of unauthorised removal of children, and when there are concerns around parental or guardian access to children adequate school fencing can provide an additional safety net. Likewise, school fencing creates a safe learning environment for students protecting them from trespassers and sexual predators.
Good security fencing allows clear surveillance of those entering and leaving the grounds. Locking security gates allow staff to verify visitors and yet permit exit in emergency situations. This is also important for controlling unauthorized departure of students who may be involved in anti-social activities during school hours.
School security fences also help protect children from running onto streets in front of traffic.
Features of Good Fence Design
It’s important to choose fencing design and materials wisely to achieve the desired effectiveness, durability and cost. A good fence will display the following:
- Graffiti resistance–some materials are more highly graffiti prone than others.
- Forced entry resistance—some materials are considerably harder to cut and this is usually reflected in the cost.
- Resistant to climbing—this is of critical importance but remember the need to prevent egress under the fence as well.
- Maintains visual surveillance lines—a poorly designed fence may offer places to hide and prevent observation of people leaving and entering the premises.
- Aesthetically pleasing—research shows that visually attractive fencing can increase community pride in the school, and reduce crime associated with rundown areas. Good design can also avoid the institutionalised prison look that is so detrimental to staff and student morale.
- Durability—fencing is an expensive item on any budget so it’s important that the fence is built to last.
A poorly designed security fence may even encourage crime because of the perception that the school’s security is lax.
School Security=Cost Effective School Safety
Modern Australian schools do not match those forlorn images painted by Pink Floyd, and although school security fencing is a vital part of any school budget there is no need for another “brick in the wall” approach.
A school safety fence will add a valuable asset to your school, protect your students, and increase the pride students, staff, and the wider community feel for your school.
It’s important that you get your new school security fence designed and built by the experts who know fencing inside and out. Profence is part of the Protective Group, a leading Australian manufacturer and supplier of school security fencing products throughout Australia, Asia, and the Pacific region.