Even in non-COVID times it is of paramount importance that schools keep track of who is onsite at any given time to ensure complete security in schools.
Schools have a variety of visitors at different points throughout the academic year, from tours for parents of potential new students, to maintenance contractors, and visiting speakers.
It can often be the case that multiple adults are onsite who aren’t on the staff payroll.
Keeping track of these visitors is something that can be simplified with a digital kiosk sign-in system.
So, what are the benefits of schools using a digital kiosk to sign in visitors?
- Safeguarding is your primary concern when you are tasked with the care of children and young people, so you need to know who is on the premises at all times.
If you have a digital record, it is a swift process to run a quick report to identify any potential intruders.
While visitors are necessary from time-to-time, you need to ensure that nobody is onsite who shouldn’t be.
The ability to take a photo of each visitor and have it quickly available is essential.
- DBS tracking is closely linked to safeguarding. Digital kiosks can also keep track of when each staff-member’s DBS certificate is due to expire, so that you don’t ever find yourself lacking.
Not only will schools need to be on top of this for safeguarding reasons, Ofsted takes a dim view of any gaps in DBS cover. Ofsted can turn up with little notice to carry out an inspection, so it is vital that records are accurate, up-to-date and easily accessible.
- Fire drills and other evacuation practices are made much simpler with a digital record of who is onsite.
Again, the system can run quick reports and also bring up emergency contacts and photos to help identify visitors in a roll call.
You can even set up the system so that it can link to a mobile phone, so staff don’t have to wait onsite for a report to run in the event of an emergency.
- Attendance levels of pupils is something that every school is concerned with.
Not only is it a safeguarding issue to know where your pupils are at all times, it is also vital in terms of school performance.
Ofsted inspectors are very interested in school attendance, with it coming under the ‘Behaviour and Attitudes’ section of the inspection framework. Poor attendance can impact student grades and attainment, which has a knock-on effect for league table rankings.
Some schools are moving towards having a checking-in kiosk attendance tracking system, and away from teacher registers. In this way, you do not have to wait until after the first register is completed to know who is and isn’t in attendance.
Reporting functions can also simplify the attendance officer’s job, helping them to notice any patterns in absence and enabling them to offer support in the right places.
- Staffing allocations can also be something which a school might want to monitor, especially with ever-shrinking budgets.
Digital check-ins for staff can also help management to assess their staffing requirements in different areas.
For multi-building campuses, it can also help to know which members of staff are in which buildings at any given time for health and safety and emergency evacuation purposes.