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How to Create a Safer School: A Guide to School Access Control Systems

Biometric Post
Dec 3, 2022
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Biometric Post
How to Create a Safer School: A Guide to School Access Control Systems

Parents send their children to school each day praying they will return home safely. However, too often we see on the news that this is not always the case. Having access control in schools is a great way to help protect students and should be seriously considered by all educational institutions.

A school access control system is an important component of any school's security measures to provide a safer environment. It can also provide valuable information on who is entering and exiting the school, aiding in the detection and prevention of theft and other crimes.

Because of the rising demand from schools, the need for such systems has expanded rapidly. As a result, the market for school security systems has grown quickly over the past few years all over the world. According to Market Research Future, the global school and campus security market is expected to reach USD 8.85 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of 19.6%.

In this blog post, we will discuss why schools should use access control systems, the different types of systems available, how they work, and some factors you'll need to consider when choosing the right system for your school. Stay safe and secure! Let's get started!

What is a School Access Control System?

A school access control system is a set of hardware and software components that work together to restrict and monitor access to school grounds, keeping unwanted visitors out to prevent different threats such as theft, vandalism, and other crimes.


Several key components are typically found in school access control systems, including the following:

✅ Physical barriers:

Typical physical barriers are fences, walls, bollards, door locks, turnstiles, and security gates. They are installed around the school campus to restrict access and keep unwanted people from getting into school grounds and buildings. Physical barriers can be used with electronic access control systems to make a school secure.

A boy want to open a school gate physical barrier

✅ Access control devices:

Access control devices, like RFID ID card readers, keypads, fingerprint scanners, and facial recognition terminals are used to identify individuals with credentials. Depending on whether these credentials authorize access or not will determine if access is granted or denied to the individual.

Aratek BA8300 gate type facial recognition terminal for school access control
Gate-style facial recognition terminal Aratek BA8300 for school campus access control

✅ Access control management software:

The access control software is used to manage the system and control access events, storing records of access and other information in a central database. The central database is typically used to store records of access events and other information about the system.

A woman is using the Aratek TruFace access control management platform
Aratek TruFace Manager: The access control management platform

✅ Access control panels:

These are the physical devices that connect the different components of the system and allow them to communicate with each other.

✅ Door controllers:

These are devices that are installed on school doors and connected to the system, allowing authorized users to open and gain access with their credentials. These can include standalone door controllers connected to a single door, multiple door controllers linked to a PC or network, or a combination of both.

How Does a School Access Control System Work?

A school access control system can be installed at school entrances, doors, and gates, as well as in classroom doors to control who has access to different areas of the school campus. A school access control solution offers an additional layer of protection for students, teachers, and staff, as well as assets and other property. But how does it do this?

Here comes a little story... It was a typical day at school. The students were in their classrooms, the teachers were teaching and the staff was going about their business. There was a man at the school gate, walking around aimlessly, looking for something. He was trying to break into the school and commit a heinous crime. He was so focused on his quest that he did not notice the visitor access system in operation. He tried to pass the gate, but he was not able to do so because his face was not recognized by the facial recognition terminal. "That's a pity," he thought, "I must have made a mistake somewhere." The CCTV camera also quickly spotted him and alerted the school security team via the network. He tried to walk away, but then... "Please show me your identification card," said a voice from behind. He turned around and saw a guard. "Please show me your school identification card," said the guard again, "you are not allowed to be here." The man was surprised. He did not know the school had a facial recognition access control. The guard frowned and shook his head. "You are not recognized," he said. "Please leave immediately.

From the story above, it represents the great effectiveness of access systems in a school site. The access control process here can be divided into the following steps:

Step 1: Identification or verification of the identity:

The system can identify or verify an individual with credentials, in the above story, the system was using facial recognition to identify the individual the man.

Step 2: Determine access status:

Once the system identified an individual, it will check whether the credential is authorized or not. If an individual's credential is not matched with the database records, like the man's face in the story, then he will be denied access.

Step 3: Grant / deny access:

If the access request is successful, then the system will send a command for applying access permissions to the door or gate controller to grant access. If the request is denied, then the system will close to door or gate immediately and send an alarm message to the security team. In the scenario above, the man was denied access and was sent away by a security guard.

Step 4: Record access events:

In addition to monitoring physical access, the security system will also keep track of the audit events. The action which includes opening and closing the door, granting access, or denying access will be recorded in an audit log. In the story above, the incident which was denied access was recorded and reported as an event to the security team for further action and investigation.

Overall, access control systems provide an effective way to manage school security and keep students, staff, and visitors safe from harm.

👉 Read more:

Case study - School Access Control for Beijing Dance Academy

The Benefits of Using School Access Control Systems

The story above shows how a school access control system can be used to protect school students and their property, it's an important part of the whole school security system, which also includes other security measures such as surveillance, screening systems, alarm systems, and barriers.

These security measures work collectively to help keep school campuses safe. As a protective outer layer, this system prevents unauthorized access from accessing the school property. Without a decent access control solution, school campuses can be vulnerable to trespassers and security threats.

So, why use access control for schools? The answer is simple: it enables school campuses to provide protection for students, faculty, and structural property, offering them security and relief they need. The following are 3 major advantages:

1) Enhance security:

Access control for schools doesn't just secure the perimeter of the school - it prevents unauthorized entry into the school and secures other areas as well. With this type of system in place, you'll complete your school's physical security measures, which will create a safe environment for students and staff.

2) Easy management of access privileges:

A well-designed school access control system makes it easy to manage credentials and access privileges for different users, such as students, faculty, and staff. It can also help to control access for visitors and vendors who need to enter the school campus.

3) Save time and resources:

A school access control system with advanced features such as biometrics and card readers can save time having to manually check student IDs or look for keys, which can cause a big delay when students are trying to get into the school. A security system can also help automate many other processes, such as issuing visitor badges, updating IT and building access logs, and more, which can save valuable time and resources.

Overall, the benefits of using a school control system are clear: it provides enhanced security and protection for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. It also helps you have more control of your school s security and access management processes, which can help save time and resources.

How Do You Choose a School Access Control System?

What questions should you ask when choosing an access control solution for schools?

School access control systems are a critical part of keeping students safe and secure on school campuses. It is important to consider the various factors that go into choosing a good access control system for your school, including its ability to integrate with other security measures, its level of security, its ease of use and management, and more. Some questions you may want to ask when evaluating different school access control systems include:

1) What is the population size of the school?

The system you require will depend on the number of students, teachers, and visitors accessing the school daily. For example, if your school is relatively small, you may require fewer access points and entry points for security purposes.

2) What are the location and number of access points on campus?

The placement and number of doors, fences, gates and other access points that need to be monitored will help you determine which type of system is right for your school.

3) What are the security requirements?

Understanding the specific security needs of your school will enable you to choose an access control system that provides the necessary level of security and protection. For example, if your school is located in a high-crime area with multiple access points, you may need more advanced security features such as video surveillance or biometric door entry systems.

4) What are the physical security measures in place?

If you already have physical security systems in places, such as surveillance cameras or card readers, you should choose an access control system that is compatible with your existing infrastructure. It is also important to consider future security needs and requirements as your school community grows.

5) What regulations does the school have to comply with?

The type of access control system that you install should be compliant with any regulations your school has to comply with, such as ADA and FERPA. 

Ultimately, managing access control for schools is a complex process that requires careful consideration of a range of factors. Above are some important factors to consider when making your decision. 

By asking the right questions and evaluating your school's needs, you can ensure that you are choosing a system that provides the right level of security and protection for your school community.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to the safety of our children, we can never be too careful. Before choosing a campus security system for your school, it is important to understand how they work and the different factors that contribute to making a good one. This way, you can be sure that your decision will result in a safe and secure environment for your students. Consider all of the unique aspects of your school when determining which system will work best for you. Furthermore, by partnering with a company that provides comprehensive access control solutions for all of your security needs, you can have peace of mind knowing that your school is secure.


What is access control for schools?

Access control for schools refers to the various devices, door entry systems, and processes that are used to manage and limit access on school premises. These can include physical access points, such as doors, gates, and fences, as well as devices such as card readers, biometric systems, management systems, door controllers, and more. The purpose of these systems is to provide increased security and protection for school communities by controlling who has access to the campus and when.


Physical Access Control Systems: The Definitive Guide

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Physical Access Control Systems: The Definitive Guide

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