NW Systems helps meet safeguarding needs of Outstanding Wirral Hospitals’ School

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Mar 26th, 2015


Hoylake-based security solutions provider, NW Systems has provided an advanced IP video system to help Wirral Hospitals’ School, Joseph Paxton Campus in Claughton, Birkenhead, meet its high safeguarding standards. This school, which has an enviable reputation as one of the region’s foremost special needs schools, was given an Outstanding rating by Ofsted in November 2014.

Safeguarding is one of Ofsted’s key inspection requirements for all schools. The education inspector monitors schools’ ‘success in keeping pupils safe’, but also takes into consideration ‘action taken following any serious safeguarding incident’.

The flexibility and reliability of the new video monitoring system, which NW Systems designed and installed, together with a 1 Gigabit to desktop network upgrade, has helped to meet the specific child protection needs of this co-educational school for children aged between 11 and 16 who cannot be catered for in mainstream education.

Many of the school’s students 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 thorough and effective safeguarding policies which are now supported by the new IP video system.

The new system provides new high quality IP cameras in all 22 classrooms, two music rooms, as well as in the school’s mentoring rooms, IT suite, some administration offices, internal concourses and stairwells. Classroom cameras help monitor the use of the rooms and provide evidence of any incidents that occur.

AXIS M3004-V compact dome cameras were fitted into the music rooms. AXIS P3364-VE fixed cameras with advanced Lightfinder technology were deployed externally to the rear of the site as they 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. The AXIS P5414–E PTZ cameras have been deployed in some locations vulnerable to burglary by intruders to the site. Most cameras are set at 720p resolution and cameras operate on six frames per second on motion.

These were chosen for their exceptional day/night capability and 270 degree wide coverage. The whole 45-camera video system was migrated to a new Xeon 6 Core server configured with mirrored 300 GB drives with a RAID array providing a total of 9TB of storage, guaranteeing enough capacity of 30 days of recording.

All cameras are linked to a Milestone XProtect Professional video management software system for recording, management, as well as rapid discovery and playback in case of incidents.

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 recorded for a number of days before automatic 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.

The flexibility and ease of installation of the new system, compared to the smaller analogue CCTV system which preceded it, means that configurations can be adjusted and new cameras added easily as the school’s needs change.

Chris Barry, ICT systems and network co-ordinator of 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 since it went live. He added: ‘From my point of view, if it helps protect one child, or one teacher, then that’s value for money.’

Derek Kitchen, head teacher of Wirral Hospitals’ Schools, added: “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.”

Frank Crouwel, managing director, NW Systems, summarised: “It is pleasing to see that video security can help underpin the strong safeguarding record of this highly-regarded and – now officially – ‘Outstanding’ local school.”

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