Although budgets in state schools, in particular, are tight the investment in HALO Smart Sensors for detecting vaping within toilets has proved transformational for St Joseph’s College in Stoke-on-Trent.
The Catholic Grammar School, like many secondary schools across the UK, had experienced an increase in incidents of vaping in their toilets. These incidents were difficult to prove and staff were unable able to respond in a timely way. However, they heard about the HALO Smart sensor at a meeting with other schools.
Charlotte Slattery, Deputy Headteacher at St Joseph’s said: “Another school had recently had these installed and were very happy about the impact they had had. I investigated several different companies but Ecl-ips were definitely the best (not necessarily the cheapest) in terms of value for money.”
However, she admitted that the school then thought about whether to install the vape detectors for over a year, having initially been concerned about the cost. She would now advise any schools to install the devices because you will be able to respond quickly to those vaping and see a swift reduction in incidents.
St Joseph’s took a staged approach
Charlotte said they believed certain toilets were more of a ‘hot spot’ for vaping activity than others so decided to order two HALO Smart Sensors to start with to focus on these areas.
St Joseph’s had a team of teaching and non-teaching staff who were able to receive the email alerts from the HALO, which Charlotte recommended to other schools as it means they can usually respond immediately.
She added, “We also have CCTV showing the entrance to the toilets – this has also been very useful for the times when students have left before we have arrived.”
In the first week of the devices being installed at the school they had repeated alerts and the staff were very busy. However, this then decreased week on week. By the end of the first of half-term after the installation there had been some weeks where there had been no vape detection alerts at all.
Once the success of the vape detection devices was proven the school ordered five more HALOs for other toilets.
HALO Smart Sensors learn about their environment
The HALO Smart Sensors will learn about the environment it is in so that it will provide accurate alerts. This can sometimes mean that schools can initially receive false alerts as the device gets used to the normal noise level, for example, and the correct thresholds as set up. We can support schools to ensure
The detector is a power over ethernet (POE) device, which means once plugged in you will have a network and power connection delivered over one Cat5 or Cat6 ethernet cable. We have the expertise to install cabling if required or can install the devices but St Joseph’s chose to install the devices themselves as they had the expertise to complete any cabling needed and we were able to support them with queries as required.
Charlotte said: “Once I got my head around how the devices were installed it was really very easy. Ecl-ips were always on hand to answer my very untechnical questions.
We needed a little cabling for a couple of the sensors due to the location of the toilets, but this was very quickly done. The devices themselves are super quick and easy to install.”
Tackling vaping among young people
The HALO Smart Sensor can help schools to manage the immediate problem of vaping in toilets and identify the students that are vaping or misbehaving. It will also allow schools to be more proactive about educating students about vaping and health risks.
Charlotte believes this has definitely been a benefit for St Jospeh’s: “Being able to identify students who are vaping has also allowed us to have much more meaningful conversations with our young people about the dangers of vaping and garner support from parents. This is helping us to have open dialogue with students that we hope will become more of a proactive message, in time, rather than a reactive one.”
She said she would recommend the HALO Smart Sensors to any schools who are struggling to get on top of vaping, or indeed or antisocial behaviour by students in their toilets. You can read the case study for St Joseph’s College and another customer, Baxter College, on our website.
To find out more about the HALO Smart Sensor could benefit your school or college please get in touch.