Bengeworth CE Academy (founded 2014) is a Church of England academy school based in Evesham, Worcestershire. A primary co-ed school with 514 students currently enrolled, there is also a nursery for younger children alongside.
The school was founded as an academy in 2014 and has not yet been inspected by OFSTED – partly due to inspections being suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it was previously assessed by OFSTED as Bengeworth Multi-Academy Trust in 2011, where it was rated as ‘Outstanding’.
KCS Projects was awarded the contract to improve the security of the school’s boundary, as the existing security of the school perimeter was weak and extremely vulnerable to trespassers.
For instance, Bengeworth CE Academy had observed uninvited members of the public wandering onto the school site through the pedestrian gate entrance - and through the vehicle gate entrance of the school’s car park - which leads to the main school site.
The North and West boundaries of the school also neighboured a caravan park that is free to walk or drive onto, due to the lack of access control at the entrance. Because of the low security of the caravan park - which spans the entire length of the school boundaries – the school’s perimeter defences were severely impacted.
As a result, this presented significant child safeguarding issues, as the boundary weaknesses give the public direct access to the main school playing fields and playground, which can have up to 350 pupils on it at certain times throughout the day. Therefore, it was essential for the school to put measures in place to minimise the risk to students’ health and safety as soon as possible.
The school was aware that they required assistance with their security planning, and that major upgrades were essential to keep students safe. These changes would need to be made as quickly as possible, and would require adding extra physical security measures to improve the line of defence along the site’s existing boundary.
Our contract was scheduled to start in October 2023, with the works to be completed by January 2024. All the security upgrades we installed would complement the investment that the school had already made on the site.
We introduced several security measures to the school site to ensure that the safeguarding risks were mitigated.
Firstly, we cleared the new fencing line of vegetation, trees, and existing structures. This not only ensured that we were able to easily access the boundary to carry out our works, but also promoted visibility - thereby preventing an intruder from potentially going unnoticed if they were to breach the school’s grounds.
Secondly, we supplied and erected a 2-metre high 6-5-6 Twin Wire Weldmesh Panel System to secure the boundary. Twin Wire Mesh is extremely robust and has anticlimb properties, making it difficult for an intruder to scale or cut through the fencing.
Next, we fitted two single pedestrian automated gates and installed an access control system on them that included a self-closing device, magnetic lock, and Paxton Video intercom. As an additional fire safety measure, we supplied, installed, and commissioned three fire alarm interfaces for these two access-controlled gates.
Then, we installed Double Leaf automated vehicle gates. This included fitting an underground gate automation system with Paxton Video intercom, which would enable the school to verify the identity of any individuals entering the school site. Under this system, visitors can make school reception staff aware of their presence at the car park gate; the reception staff can then communicate with the visitors and decide whether or not to grant them access to the school grounds.
The new system also allows staff to gain entry to the site using their proximity fob, which registers their presence on arrival.
In future, we will need to install a magnetic ground loop to enable the vehicle gates to automatically open when a vehicle approaches them seeking to leave the school site.
Finally, we installed five manual gates that can be locked from the school’s side of the perimeter boundary.
We were able to successfully secure the school’s perimeter boundary by trimming back trees and bushes that obscured visibility, fitting a robust 6-5-6 Twin Wire Weldmesh Panel System, installing a Double Leaf automated vehicle gate system, constructing two single pedestrian automated gates with access controls and fire alarm interfaces, and adding five manual gates to the site that can be locked by the school to provide additional security.
All this has helped to significantly improve the school’s safeguarding measures.