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State school safety enhanced with SALTO access control

Tuesday 06 November 2018

Located south east of Melbourne, Australia, Narre Warren South P-12 College is a unique school on one campus with two sub schools, Primary, (Prep to Year 6 ) and Secondary, (Years 7 to 12). It follows the P-12 Curriculum which is designed to provide diversity and pathway opportunities, ensuring students maximise opportunities that exist after school and ensure people achieve their learning goals in a fun and supportive learning environment. 

 Home to over 2000 students and 200 staff, cultural diversity is a feature of the College with at least 50 ethnic groups being represented speaking 68 languages. A third of the College’s student population come from families where the language background is other than English.

The College previously used a mechanical key system for its security needs; however this was increasingly complicated to manage as keys multiplied, and it was difficult to guard against key duplication and copying. Another negative was the cost of re-keying and replacing locks to maintain security if keys were lost or not handed back.

The College also had a number of challenges when it came to managing and limiting traffic flow through the staff car parks, both inside and outside school hours.

To alleviate such problems, the College decided to look into upgrading its security arrangements and called in local security specialists Eclipse Security Systems. Director Greg Flood takes up the story.

“We met with Brett Dyer, (the College’s Property and Maintenance Manager), and explained how SALTO solutions are in use around the world in educational environments including universities, university housing, schools, research institutes, academies, kindergartens and more where they provide security, access control and campus management.

Replacing keys with smart access control would give the school much more control over its security. For instance installing smart online wireless locks on main entrance doors would enable the school to incorporate these doors into its lock down procedure. At busy student drop off and pick up times in the morning and afternoon, the school gates could be automated to improve traffic flow and ease congestion. And since Narre Warren South P-12 like almost all state schools hire out their sports, meeting facilities etc to third party groups outside of school hours, the new access control solution would make it much easier to manage access for such short term visitors.

Brett liked the fact that SALTO could offer a solution that was education proven and offered a secure, flexible way to have all the above benefits and more in a versatile, cost-effective package that was future proof and gave a great return on the schools investment dollars.

The removal of the old system and the upgrade to smart locks was smooth and straightforward, and we’ve now retro-fitted in excess of 100 doors and automated a number of perimeter gates. Most external doors, plus the addition of a number of internal office doors across all the blocks, have a mix of offline and online SALTO XS4 escutcheons, as well as control units and wall readers.”

“The most important thing for us is to ensure that we are doing everything we can to safeguard our children. Our new access control system furthers this goal” says Brett Dyer. “We went with Greg’s recommendation of SALTO for its functionality and value for money. We particularly like how easy it is to use and program, especially the issue and management of contactless smartcards for external user groups. The scheduled automatic locking and unlocking of external doors and gates is a huge time saver, and so far we’re pleased with the product and the capabilities it now gives us.”