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Firm helps out with 24-hour security

A primary school switched on its new Pounds 30,000 24-hour security system last week, thanks to a local employer.

The project, launched by Allied Colloids, the international chemical company, and supported by West Yorkshire police, is thought to be the first to give a school round-the-clock surveillance by linking the Bradford school to the company's own security system.

Low Moor primary school has four external cameras monitored in a company control room.

Once prone to vandalism and theft, the school and three others in the area have already benefited from a camera link installed by the company two years ago and monitored by the school caretaker.

Peter Speight, a manager at Allied Colloids, was originally asked to help the school by local police officers. The company believes the project could pave the way for other firms with security systems to help schools.

"I hope other industries can latch on and get involved in the community. It should be an integral part of business today," he said.

While there has been a steady growth in links between schools and business, set up to bring in much-needed cash and expertise, few firms have been directly involved in providing free security.

But growing concern about violence, together with high-profile tragedies, most recently the killing of 16 children and their teacher at Dunblane, has forced many schools to review security The initiative has been welcomed by Roger Hewins, vice-president of the National Association of Head Teachers, who said that firms often had expertise which schools and education authorities lacked.

"For selected schools, surveillance is a prime need." he said.

But a cautious note was struck by the Confederation of British Industry which warned that while businesses were keen to help if possible, they could not be expected to cater for all a school's needs.

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