When it comes to keeping teachers and education workers safe, there are lots of things to consider. There’s lots of legislation in place that covers safety and security in the sector, from Prevent and other child safety and safeguarding laws, to Alyssa’s Law in the US, and a lot of health and safety rules that need to be followed.
Schools, universities and other educational organisations are already well practiced at following all of this legislation. But are you doing enough to keep teachers and other workers, like reception or support staff, safe?
In this article, we’re going to cover out top four ways to keep teachers and other education workers safe. Here at Little Green Button, we’ve worked with organisations across the entire education sector in a number of countries, so we understand the unique challenges faced by this sector. Our software-based panic alarm system is a key part of many education organisation’s responses to safety threats.
1. Regular drills and tests
While many education organisations will be very used to a regime of regular drills and tests, whether these are for fire drills, terrorism incidents or extreme weather events, it’s also vital that you consider running full drills or tests for other situations too. This should include ensuring that your access control to specific areas of the building functions correctly and will block intruders in the event of an emergency, as well as allowing exit for those who should need to.
Regular test or drill events will not only ensure that everybody on site is aware of the processes and procedures that are required of them, but also highlight any possible gaps or situations where you may be able to improve your security processes.
2. Safety while teaching or working remotely
Over the last few years, the pandemic has accelerated the growth of remote learning and teaching in schools and universities across the world. But, with this change to remote teaching comes a set of new safeguarding and safety challenges.
One of the most difficult things to face with the teaching workforce while working remotely has been isolation and therefore higher levels of stress. Handling a busy teaching workload while not being physically present is a difficult task, and many teachers experienced burnout and other stress-related mental health problems. To tackle this, it’s essential as an educational organisation to provide extra help and support to your staff.
In addition, you’ll need to address your security protocols and update them to help keep staff and students safe while not on the organisation’s premises. How will you carry out safeguarding or welfare checks without physical presence? While many educational organisations have mostly returned to in-person teaching, there is a risk that we may be going back to remote at short notice – and it’s important to make sure you’ve got processes in place to support everybody.
3. Social media safety
Social media safety for teachers and other educational workers is a key issue. It’s absolutely vital that you’re supporting your staff to stay safe on social media, as this is one of the most important safety issues. But with so many technological advances and new social media websites being launched, it can be difficult to keep on top of the changes.
So, it’s key that your social media policy is as up-to-date as possible, and includes language that helps your staff understand how they’re expected to behave and how to keep safe. You should also have clear policies for students’ behaviour on social media, and ensure that they are properly enforced and kept safe.
4. Silent alarm/panic buttons
A key thing to consider when looking at your security procedures in schools and other educational organisations is panic buttons or silent alarms. These systems will alert other members of staff, or even the police or other organisations, that an issue has occurred, and mean a teacher or member of staff can raise the alarm without leaving students unattended.
Across some states in the US, Alyssa’s Law has meant that these systems are mandated in schools. In the UK, they’re not required by law, but they are an important part of keeping a school safe. Panic alarm systems mean that you can get help fast, with a quick response being a vital part of de-escalating many issues.
Little Green Button is a software-based panic alarm system that’s perfect for use in educational establishments. Our system features customisable alert types, including fire, intruder and medical, so you can get the right response quickly.
Speak to Little Green Button’s sales team today to book your free demo covering all the ways our panic alarm software could help keep your school or educational organisation safe and protected.