Customer: Holy Trinity Catholic School
Location: Small Heath, Birmingham
Requirement: To install a lockdown system and upgrade their CCTV
Solution: Avigilon ACC Server, Avigilon Encoders, POE Switch, Axis Speakers, SIP microphone
Services: Review of the school’s security systems, installation of lockdown system and CCTV encoders, training, support and maintenance
Customer’s View: “We feel a lockdown system is a necessity and all schools should be looking at putting in a suitable solution. We recommend that you do your research and speak to Ecl-ips.” John MCCaul, IT Operations Manager
Holy Trinity Catholic School is a mixed secondary school located in the Small Heath area of Birmingham. It is a voluntary aided school administered by Birmingham City Council and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham. The school has a high proportion of ethnic minority students – 93.1% compared with a national average of 25.6%. The leadership team at the school has a range of challenges because of the high levels of deprivation, poor housing and socio-economic difficulties that effect the families of its pupils.
The school takes safeguarding seriously, Holy Trinity considers it a core strength of the school as recognised by Ofsted. To meet all its safeguarding obligations the school’s leadership felt that installing a lockdown system was necessary and it was also felt that its CCTV system needed upgrading.
John McCaul, IT Operations Manager at Holy Trinity, knew of Ecl-ips from our work at another school. After looking at the company’s website and reading our case studies John decided to call our Managing Director, Aaron Kernaghan, initially to talk about all aspects of security across the school. This included reviewing Access Control and the CCTV as the images were of poor quality and the system was not user friendly.
After speaking to John, Ecl-ips recommended that a lockdown system should be installed and the current analogue CCTV system should be upgraded to an Avigilon system bringing both the lockdown and CCTV onto the same platform. To begin with Ecl-ips installed an Avigilon server in the school’s server room, five encoders and a PoE switch in the reception area. All 20 of the existing analogue cameras were connected to the encoders to enable them to be added to the Avigilon Control Center (ACC) system. This gives the school all the functionality of the Avigilon software but without the need to upgrade the cameras.
The Axis speakers, which came in three different variations, were then added around the school campus, with horns installed externally. Internally, speakers were installed in the ceiling tiles where possible or if there was no false ceiling, cabinet wall speakers were installed. These speakers were grouped together depending on their location. This allows the user to be able to announce to only certain buildings if required or the entire campus.
A desktop SIP microphone was installed in the head teacher’s office which allows him, or other members of staff, to announce messages. The microphone also has 12 programmable buttons which can be setup to automatically carry out certain tasks. It has a web client which allows the user to programme the buttons and upload custom clips. Once both systems were up and running, Ecl-ips connected the microphone to the Avigilon ACC software allowing the speakers to be activated via the CCTV system. There was also a hidden button installed under the reception desk. In the event of an emergency pressing this will trigger the lockdown procedure.
“While Ecl-ips were still on site at the school they performed a test of the lockdown system. Although the school was closed for the summer holidays and there were no students on site, John said the school had not thought to alert any of their neighbours close by and when the audio alarm went off saying, “Warning armed intruder on site,” the workmen from the neighbouring medical centre ran off as quickly as they could!”
Following the installation, the school implemented a lockdown policy and performed a lockdown test to train all the staff in the lockdown procedure. John said they recorded an audio alarm and when the alarm was sounded the staff carried out their tasks to close all windows, doors and get people onto the floor. Over time the school intends to upgrade some of the cameras from analogue to Avigilon IP cameras.