Falkirk schools are not “fortresses” claim education chiefs

Falkirk Council has measures in place to ensure teachers and pupils are as safe as possible
Falkirk Council has measures in place to ensure teachers and pupils are as safe as possible
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Education chiefs admitted this week Falkirk schools are not “fortresses” but they are as safe as possible.

Responding to last Monday’s tragedy in Leeds which saw teacher Ann Maguire (61) stabbed to death in front of her pupils, Falkirk Council education department has gone on record about security measures at its schools.

A council spokesman said: “Tragic incidents like Leeds are extremely rare and our thoughts go out to those affected. Security in and around schools is an issue for the entire community and we work with parents, Police Scotland and staff to ensure all our pupils learn in a safe environment.

“Schools are not fortresses, but they are an integral part of the community and, as such, should welcome everyone who is connected to the school.”

Falkirk area schools follow national recommendations put forward following the Dunblane tragedy in 1996.

All schools have a controlled entry system which means visitors have to be given authorisation to access the building and then there are further locked doors between the reception area and the rest of the building which are controlled by the school.

In addition, CCTV systems operate 24 hours a day and schools also possess good perimeter security fencing where appropriate.

Staff are provided with general advice, training and guidance on how to handle potential incidents, while staff who work in behavioural and additional support needs units are given more specialist training in this area.

“These measures help enhance the safety and security of our schools for all our staff, pupils and other visitors. In recent years we have also worked closely with the police who have now based community police officers in some of our secondary schools.”