And at one of the schools there have even been ‘a few minor incidents’ in which parents and ex-students have been able to access the grounds to confront staff, according to the Children, Young Person, Education and Skills Department. Recent reviews of St Luke’s primary school and Haute Vallée and Le Rocquier secondary schools carried out by Education and the police have found ‘several areas for improvement in terms of safeguarding, site security and controlled access’.
The three schools are now to have a total of £150,000 ploughed into measures to improve the poor safeguarding and site security.
Further reviews of all secondary schools are due to be completed by the end of this year, while reviews across the primary schools will continue into 2019.
In a ministerial decision, Treasury Minister Susie Pinel has now ordered £150,000 be used from the Education Department budget to upgrade the security measures at the three schools.
Two of the three projects are expected to be completed during the summer holidays.
A spokesperson for CYPES said: ‘The health, safety and wellbeing of students and staff is our priority. The reviews enable the department to look at all aspects of site security, both engineering and administrative, and recommended improvements to mitigate risk.
‘It has always been high on the department’s agenda to review and improve existing arrangements for site security across all schools and in doing so, work in collaboration with other government departments, which include the police and Jersey Property Holdings.
‘The findings were identified in the course of our reviews, which form part of the department’s high-level corporate occupational health and safety action plans.
‘All secondary and primary schools in Jersey are well provisioned in terms of facilities. The social climate of Jersey is very different to the UK when compared across a range of indicators, not least crime incident rates related to the education sector and the nature and make-up of the actual risk exposure.’
A report accompanying the budget transfer decision said the recommendations would ‘reduce the risk to an “acceptable” or “tolerable” level’.
The report says: ‘Reviews, audits and risk profiling by the department, police and third parties have highlighted several areas for improvement in terms of safeguarding, site security and controlled access and egress.
‘Poor site security exposes those using these schools – students, teachers, suppliers and the public – and the Education Department to an unacceptable level of risk, evidenced through the risk profiling process.’
The £150,000 will be used to make improvements in five key areas:
*The department’s responsibilities towards students, staff and members of the public.
*The prioritisation of the safety and well-being of teachers, to allow them to concentrate on teaching.
*The delivery of a positive message, improved peace of mind and wellbeing for those involved with the schools.
*Easier recruitment and retention of good teaching staff.
*Discouraging criminal activity.
The report adds: ‘Whilst the return on investment is self-evident the measurements are intangible, in that it can only be measured in terms of improved morale/wellbeing and improved safety of students, staff and members of the public.’