Wirral Hospitals’ School

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by Kevin Bowyer

NW Security helps meet safeguarding needs of “Outstanding” Wirral Hospitals’ School.

Wirral Hospitals’ School is one of the region’s foremost special needs schools. Many of the school’s 11 to 16 year old pupils have mental and physical health problems. Others have social and communication difficulties which have prevented them from being able to succeed in mainstream schools. The school’s commitment to creating a safe environment for its pupils and staff is reflected in its thorough and effective safeguarding policies.

As part of a number of improvements to its safeguarding regime at the school, the school’s leadership team decided to fund  an extension and upgrade of its ageing video surveillance system which was failing to provide recorded images reliably when incidents in the school were reported or evidence of security breaches were found.

Requirements

It was clear more cameras were needed both internally and externally and a more reliable video management system was required to enable rapid recovery of evidence if further action was needed.

The school’s leadership team made a decision to deploy new IP cameras in all 22 classrooms, two music rooms as well as in new mentoring suites; to help monitor the use of these rooms and provide evidence if any reported incidents occur in them.  This would effectively double the numbers of cameras at the Joseph Paxton Campus. NW was asked to complete a site survey, and then specify and install the system following a tender process.

Solution

NW Security fitted AXIS M3004-V compact dome cameras into the music rooms. AXIS P3364-VE fixed cameras, with advanced Lightfinder technology, were deployed externally in areas vulnerable to burglary by intruders to the site. These cameras are well suited to areas with variable lighting conditions. While AXIS P3364 compact dome cameras, offering Axis’ own Corridor Format, proved highly effective in indoor public areas not previously covered. The AXIS P5414–E PTZ cameras have been deployed in other outdoor spaces. These cameras were chosen for their exceptional day/night capability and 270 degree wide coverage.

Most cameras are set at 720p resolution and operate at six frames per second on motion. The whole 45-camera video system was migrated to a new Xeon 6 Core server configured with mirrored 300 GB drives linked to a RAID array providing a total of 9TB of storage -guaranteeing enough capacity for several weeks of recordings.  All cameras are linked to a Milestone XProtect Professional+ video management software system for recording, management, as well as rapid playback and export of evidence in case of incidents.

Solution

NW Security fitted AXIS M3004-V compact dome cameras into the music rooms. AXIS P3364-VE fixed cameras, with advanced Lightfinder technology, were deployed externally in areas vulnerable to burglary by intruders to the site. These cameras are well suited to areas with variable lighting conditions. While AXIS P3364 compact dome cameras, offering Axis’ own Corridor Format, proved highly effective in indoor public areas not previously covered. The AXIS P5414–E PTZ cameras have been deployed in other outdoor spaces. These cameras were chosen for their exceptional day/night capability and 270 degree wide coverage.

Most cameras are set at 720p resolution and operate at six frames per second on motion. The whole 45-camera video system was migrated to a new Xeon 6 Core server configured with mirrored 300 GB drives linked to a RAID array providing a total of 9TB of storage -guaranteeing enough capacity for several weeks of recordings.  All cameras are linked to a Milestone XProtect Professional+ video management software system for recording, management, as well as rapid playback and export of evidence in case of incidents.

Such a high quality and user-friendly system contributes hugely to the safety and well-being of students, staff and visitors. It also protects the school when closed.

Derek Kitchen, Head Teacher of Wirral Hospitals’ School

All video recordings are password protected and only accessible to authorised personnel. All security equipment is placed in a locked and secure room in the school. Recordings are backed up and kept for a limited time before deletion. Video recordings needed for further investigation can be exported in tamper-proof DVD form to be passed onto external authorities – in the event of an intrusion, vandalism or a break-in for example.

Results

Chris Barry, ICT Systems and Network Co-ordinator at the Wirral Hospitals’ Schools highlighted the cost-effectiveness and ease of use of the new video system and affirmed the extremely positive feedback he has received from staff and parents since it went live. The Wirral Hospitals’ School achieved its first Outstanding rating in its latest Ofsted inspection in November 2014. Mr Barry commented:

From my point of view, if it helps protect one child, or one teacher here, then that’s value for money.

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