Customer: Baxter College
Location: Kidderminster, Wyre Forest area of Worcestershire
Requirement : The school was finding that the increasing number of students vaping within its toilets was becoming a difficult issue to manage. This was not just about the children who were vaping themselves, other pupils were worried about going to the toilets because of the amount of antisocial behaviour. Tracking down the students who were causing the most problems however, was a challenge. Vandalism of the toilet blocks was also an issue the school wanted to manage better.
Solution: Ecl-ips installed 4 x Halo 2C Smart Sensors.
Services: Installation and Commissioning of the Halo Smart Sensors and a demonstration on how to use the system.
“It has transformed the amount of antisocial behaviour in toilets, children are more confident in going to the toilets. It has also reduced the number of students asking to go to the toilet during lessons.”
Baxter College provides education to 11–18-year-olds across the Wyre Forest area of Worcestershire. The school is part of the Severn Academies Educational Trust, a multi-academy trust which includes primary and secondary schools within North Worcestershire.
Like many secondary schools, Baxter College has recently experienced more of its students vaping and being prepared to vape within the school itself, principally within the toilets. This created issues around some pupils feeling unable to enter the toilets but also more students asking to use the toilets within lessons arousing suspicions that vaping was taking place during these times. Unlike cigarettes, vapes do not emit an obvious odour and they can be concealed more easily when being used.
Matthew Carpenter, Principal at Baxter College was willing to admit to the school’s issues. He first heard about Ecl-ips launching the HALO Smart Sensor within the UK when he was being interviewed about vaping in schools by the local radio station, BBC Hereford & Worcester. Since the installation the school’s story has been featured on BBC News online and on radio.
“The way vapes work in comparison to cigarettes allows them to be used quickly and the low-cost disposable ones are easily hidden or thrown away.”
As demonstrated at Baxter College the HALO Smart Sensor can be installed discreetly in private areas such as changing rooms and toilets where students may feel able to vape.
The HALO Smart Sensor has tamper detection which will alert you to problems such as students trying to interfere with the device.
Additionally, the HALO Smart Sensor is far more than a vape detector. It can also detect tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is found in cannabis, and can be used for health and air quality monitoring. However, within schools where anti-social behaviour could be a problem, its aggression detection feature could be a particular benefit. This provides notifications when the HALO detects abnormal noise levels. Separately, with five key words pre-programmed, the device can notify staff of calls for help which can support teachers and school management to take action in cases of bullying and fighting.
Ecl-ips has well-established expertise in data cabling and the installation of appliances that use power over ethernet (POE) for their power supply. POE has the advantage of delivering data and power over one Cat5 or Cat6 ethernet cable. This means Ecl-ips can carry out all the installation, including data cabling; just install the HALO Smart Sensors or we can supply the devices and support customers remotely if required. Ecl-ips is offering the HALO Smart Sensor across the UK.
“The installation at Baxter College was quick and easy. Getting the data cable to the sensor in our old building was the only challenging part of the install.”
Commenting on how the Halo Smart Sensors should be used by schools looking to reduce vaping and the associated anti-social behaviour Matthew said: “I would advise planning for how the system is going to be monitored and the subsequent action, reflecting these changes in the school’s behaviour policy.
“You will receive a significant number of alerts and need to be able to respond quickly. I would also recommend pairing the sensor with a CCTV camera near the entrance to the toilet so you can quickly identify students who were in the toilets and considering a wand-style metal detector to support checking coats and bags.”
Result: Within the first week following the installation two children were caught vaping on separate occasions during the detention period led by the school’s senior leadership team.
Benefits: Matthew said that the best thing about the Halo Smart Sensors has been the impact they have had within the school with improved behaviour and an improvement in the environment for teaching and learning. He said he would recommend Ecl-ips, and the Halo Smart Sensor solution, to “any other secondary school” that has a vaping problem to manage.
Download a copy of the Baxter College Case Study PDF
Media Coverage of the Baxter College installation