Between November 2018 and February 2019, the Department for Education (DfE) asked for views on proposals for new school security guidance for educational establishments in England.

While acknowledging that schools are already among the safest places, the consultation stressed the need for them to put in place proportionate and sensible security policies and plans that reflect their individual circumstances.

Official guidance is intended to give schools access to a range of information sources that will help those responsible to develop the required policies and plans.

Promoted as “an opportunity for schools and other stakeholders to comment on the proposed guidance in order to assess its potential effectiveness”, it attracted 51 responses, of which 26 were from schools.

Most respondents supported the draft guidance, the DfE notes, but stressed the importance of the content being proportionate to the risks it seeks to address.

Although a minority of responses focused on national security issues, other threats identified were of a local nature. That suggests, the DfE argues, that the guidance should be designed to allow for a balanced approach, to provide schools and colleges with a broad range of advice and information that they can apply to their particular circumstances.

Given that locality and experience are important factors in determining an individual establishment’s risk assessment, responses were divided about how prescriptive the guidance should be.

“Whilst some with recognised risks would like advice on how to counter these threats, others are happier with guidance which seeks to provide flexibility and links to sources of advice, some of which may not be relevant to all schools and colleges,” the DfE concluded.

More information can be found in School security draft guidance: consultation response.

Last reviewed 22 November 2019