West Mercia Police and Shropshire Council support our school with the Safer School initiative. We are an accredited ‘Safer School’ and proud of our Safer School sign and certificate. The accreditation is reviewed every two years.
The initiative is a holistic, practical and realistic approach to school security and personal safety. It gives our school a clear focus on the subject and turns a negative subject into a positive one. It sets a minimum standard for school security.
The essential elements of the ‘Safer School’ process include:
- Implementing a security policy that the governors have adopted.
- Consulting parents/carers and pupils/students for their views and updating them on any progress.
- Publicity of Safer Schools to school staff, pupils, school neighbours, parents and prospective parents.
- Establishing a Safer School Group. This Safer School Group is a partnership of school stakeholders – Headteacher/Deputy, staff, governors, parents, pupils, neighbours, Shropshire Council and West Mercia Police.
- Regularly reviewing and implementing good practice and essential security/safety measures for staff, pupils, the site and assets.
- Educating pupils through the Personal, Social, Health and Economic curriculum programme or the Safer School folder.
- A daily procedure for recording incidents should they occur i.e. trespass, burglary, theft, anti-social behaviour, vandalism, arson, suspicious activity etc., both during school hours and out-of hours.
- Solving real problems rather than perceived problems. Prioritising work (if any) and reviewing action.
- If there are security issues i.e. vandalism, anti-social behaviour etc., the intention of the initiative is to reduce/eliminate the issues.
Another successful ‘Safer School Group’ meeting at Shrewsbury Academy. Mr Arnold with the support of Ms Tolhurst-Jones and Mrs Howells have continued the security and safety initiative since the school’s ‘Safer School’ accreditation in 2013. It remains a priority and this is demonstrated through a regular review and holding a six monthly ‘Safer School Group’ meeting. The Safer Schools initiative includes reviewing any incidents/issues at the school, ensuring the essential security/safety measures are active, considering any potential improvements and finally, planning for the future. The recent ‘Safer School Group’ meeting was positive and thorough. The results of a student survey were shared with the Group and where there were concerns, Mr Arnold already had plans for either change or improvement. Of particular note, the staff that attended the meeting were enthusiastic and proud of the school. Overall, excellent work and the meeting concluded with establishing a future Safer School Group meeting date in the autumn term.
Crime Prevention Officer