Safety and learning are inherently entwined; effective tuition relies on students feeling comfortable and protected from harm. Along with high quality teaching, pupils’ wellbeing and security is, understandably, a top priority for schools.
This was especially true for Oakdale Primary School in Peterborough. When it came to updating the school perimeter and sports fencing, they wanted a solution which would keep students, staff and guests safe and provide reliable access control. To achieve both aims, Jacksons Fencing Sentry Residential and EuroGuard Flatform were selected.
Over 650m of Jacksons’ fencing and eight gates were installed by Landplan Associations, a local landscape design consultant.
A school perimeter is multifunctional: it keeps pupils on site and prevents trespassers entering.
Two-metre tall EuroGuard Flatform Medium was installed around the school perimeter. A matching single leaf gate was installed for pedestrian usage, allowing for better control and monitoring of entry and exit. A manual double leaf gate was installed for vehicular and emergency access.
A variation of the product with a heavier wire gauge was installed around the sports and activities areas, preventing children from leaving the area unauthorised while simultaneously providing good visibility from both within and outside for staff in case of an accident or emergency. Three-metre-high panels were specified to protect passers-by and spectators from stray equipment.
The same mesh fencing was installed around the school bike shed, its anti-climb properties defending against potential theft and vandalism and providing good visibility for video surveillance.
At peak times, schools are bustling with activity, in corridors, playgrounds and car parks. Keeping these areas clearly marked and separate is crucial to students’ safety.
The school used Sentry Residential railings to separate the car park from pathways used by pupils at the beginning and end of the day. At lunch and break times, the 1.25m high barrier keeps children within the playground without being overly imposing.
While safety is essential, it’s also important for schools to appear welcoming to students and their parents, making them feel comfortable. Contributing to this, all fencing and gates were powder coated green.
Additionally, all of Jacksons’ steel fencing and gates are backed by a comprehensive 25-year guarantee. This means a lower lifetime cost and more sustainable solution.
Peter Jackson, Managing Director of Jacksons Fencing, comments: “We recently conducted research with teachers and found the aspects of their role most important to them are creating a positive learning environment and keeping students safe. However, achieving these aims is increasingly challenging for reasons beyond their control.
“Schools today are faced with both capacity pressures and severe budgetary constraints. It can be all too easy to let perimeter replacement or upgrading programmes slip. With appropriate planning and execution, these challenges can be overcome to provide young minds with a safe environment in which to learn and thrive.”