Metro Security (GB) PLC has introduced an innovative range of access control solutions for education providers. These systems provide important reassurance in terms of site safety, plus duty-of-care protection for pupils, staff and on-site visitors.

In addition, Metro’s bespoke range of access control solutions for primary and secondary schools, colleges, academies and universities include exciting, added-value potential for cashless payment systems, plus customised software apps to maximise the potential multi-use benefits of existing education equipment, as well as integration with other security, fire and building management systems – for enhanced applications, improved safety, and energy usage savings.

Metro Security’s sophisticated access control equipment can also interface/combine with electronic visitor management systems, ensuring that the health & safety of pupils, staff, contractors working on site and other visitors is paramount. In the event of a fire, for example, this means an accurate roll-call can be produced for use by emergency services attending an incident.

What is access control?

There are many different types of access control, so how do you know what’s right for you? Is it automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) to control automatic barriers/gates to a school car park? or a video entry phone at your main entrance, fingerprint readers around your facility? or a card reader/push-button PIN code unit to unlock the door to your IT facility?

Access control systems start where the risk is highest: at points of entry and exit. Something as simple as an entry phone connected to handsets within a building will give an effective first line of defence, enabling staff to confirm the identity of each visitor.

Equipment choices

Depending on the risk profile of your education facility, access control equipment specifications can include intercom devices (including built-in cameras to assist identify verification), video door entry systems, keypad and card reader units to unlock doors, and biometric fingerprint readers for more sensitive and vulnerable building areas.

Within buildings Metro can also install (and maintain) lift control systems that restrict access to specified floors depending on the pupil, teacher or other staff member, as well as by location at time of day – a flexible range of options to accommodate changing demands and requirements.

Car park management can be controlled through automated gate/barrier systems, combined with CCTV cameras and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) software – enabling vehicle registration plates to be automatically logged and tracked, with automated alerts provided about returning vehicles previously regarded as suspicious.

Configurable database facilities offer education facility managers the ability to integrate visiting vehicles with pre-booking systems, allowing quick and easy on-site access. This can also, for example, enable staff to park on-site each day with convenient, unimpeded access.

Integrated systems

Access control equipment can operate stand-alone, but its true functionality and potential is seen when interfacing with other security, fire and building management systems.

Integrating access control with other systems in this way enables the equipment to become more than the sum of its parts, providing operational advantages including improved on-site management, control, observation, detection and tracking capabilities.

Practical examples include linking access control with CCTV cameras, providing the potential for pre- and post-event door entry activation images for detection, monitoring and evidential purposes.

Energy management

Access control systems’ added-value advantages include the ability to interact with building management equipment including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting, for example to save on wasteful power in unoccupied areas of buildings.

Door entry and other access control activations (eg use of turnstiles) can power-up these systems when needed, reducing running costs and energy-related CO2 emissions when these areas of buildings are unoccupied.