St Chad’s is a Joint-Church secondary school with around 700 students and 60 teaching staff, located in a deprived area of Cheshire at the edge of a large housing estate.

We have had a strong working relationship with St Chad’s for over fifteen years now, since we were contacted due to the school suffering from frequent acts of vandalism.  These events were mainly occurring at weekends or in the evening. A serious incident occurred in a one hour period when 150 windows were broken which caused disruption to the school curriculum and cost some £9000.

When a primary school about a mile away was burnt to the ground and the children had to be located in temporary accommodation St Chad’s leadership team decided that an upgrade of their CCTV system was necessary to manage the risk of further disruption more effectively.

Adam Tate, the Network Manager, was given the task of finding a suitable digital CCTV system to replace their existing analogue CCTV system which was not providing clear enough images and had insufficient coverage of the widely dispersed school buildings.

He consulted Access Ability (UK) Ltd of Macclesfield as they had a good track record and they were invited to tender for the supply and installation of a then 27-camera system.  Fast-forward to today and we have installed 106 cameras across 7 digital CCTV systems, and furthermore have installed a large Paxton Net2 Access Control System with some 50 accessed controlled doors.  Adam has a  desire to ensure that the school’s network controlled door system is as good and as reliable as the IT infrastructure that’s in place throughout the school.  The massive investment over many years has paid off time and time again, and even during a recent disappointing Ofsted report, the inspectors still recognised the school as outstanding in the safeguarding of children category.  Adam works with Access Ability (UK) Ltd to ensure that the systems are serviced twice a year, and that all gates and automatic doors meet the regulations and requirements for safety and safeguarding.

Adam said, “We have worked well with Access Ability (UK) Ltd for many years to provide an excellent access control system, and a great CCTV system to support it.  We have developed a fantastic working partnership with them and over the years their valuable input has been very welcome. They are always ‘on the ball’ when it comes to technical advice, and the quality of their engineering work is second-to-none. Nothing is ever too much for them. I would wholeheartedly recommend Access Ability UK to other businesses, especially schools, who are looking for similar systems.”

Over the course of time, vandalism around the school is down to almost zero, and the children themselves, in a recent survey, say that they feel safe at the school. Our approach has supported the St Chad’s philosophy of continuous and positive improvement, which, in this case, has been through the more effective management of risk.