Regulating access to school - movement and assembling
Schools need to control access to the learning environment if security and safety are to be realised. School safety efforts should take into account the features of the school and the surrounding community. Safety measures should include maintaining a strong school visitor policy and limiting school entry points.
Control of school Plant
A secure boundary is of primary importance to school security. It will reduce and allow the effective management of most unacceptable behavioural problems that can be anticipated.
The boundaries of the school should be clearly defined and must offer a protected and controlled environment for students. The school’s boundary includes its rules governing conduct and behaviour and the structures around the physical plant.
In order to strengthen the objective of effective control, the Ministry of Education/Departments of Education will assist schools without fences or those with inadequate fencing to have a secure boundary fence. The Parent Teachers Association and Alumni should also assist by mobilizing resources.
Understanding the boundaries
The Headteacher has the right to control the movement and gathering of students, especially during instructional time. The school should assist students to develop a sense of the existing boundaries, respect for personal space, the etiquette of manoeuvring in public spaces and proper group behaviour while in public.
- Establish, Maintain and Control Entrance and Exit
The Headteacher is directed to establish entry and exit points and identify same using appropriate signs. Provision should be made for the physical monitoring of the entry and exit points. If not in use, these points should be closed and secured. Electronic methods could be used to boost the physical monitoring.
- Rules for movement and gathering
The Headteacher is directed to set clear rules and sanctions governing the movement and assembling of students within the school.
Older students should not have unsupervised private access to younger students while on school premises, except siblings or other close family members.
- Develop, Implement and Monitor the School Access Policy
The Headteacher is directed to develop and implement policies in relation to accessing the school’s compound and the operations of entry and exit points. Operating hours, prohibited items, dress code, manner of behaviour, vending, visitors’ access and searches should be taken into consideration when drafting the policy. The public should be made aware of the policy and staff members, parents and students should be notified through sensitization sessions throughout the school year.
- Off-limit areas
The Headteacher is directed to designate off-limits or restricted zones/areas to students. These zones/areas must be easily identifiable by clear markings. Some such areas include, staff rooms, isolated or unsupervised areas of the school plant, maintenance and storage areas. Toxic materials (e.g. toxic markers, agricultural, laboratory and cleaning chemicals) must be kept inaccessible to students at all times.
Areas where students are allowed to gather freely should also be subjected to some limits. Therefore, the Headteacher is directed to set clear rules and sanctions in relation to where, when and how students gather.
The Headteacher is also encouraged to establish and mark the following zones/areas:
- Quiet zones
- No assembling zones
- No loitering zones
- No sitting zone