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Security option in a swipe

With reference to the two articles covering school security (TES, November 29). In the box on low-cost security measures which accompanied the article on school security by Alastair Buchan (TES, School Management Update, November 29) there was no mention of one of the lowest-cost measures - the introduction of photo-ID cards for both staff and, at a minimum, post-16 students.

Mr Buchan actually says that "simple key security procedures . . . are cheaper and more reliable than . . . swipe card locks" this we would categorically refute. Swipe card locks, when used in conjunction with high-qualityhigh-security credit card-style photo-ID cards, give schools and colleges one of the best multi-functional and truly workable access control systems.

Also, in the article by Gerald Haigh in the Resources Extra, although the two photographs used in the feature obviously show ID cards, there is hardly a mention of the fundamental importance of ID cards as the first and one of the least expensive security measures a school can easily introduce.

When the use of these cards is extended to include access control, cashless vending, library borrowing and registration, their value and importance is greatly increased. Indeed, the cost of a high-quality credit card style photo-ID card can be as low as Pounds 2, making them an extremely attractive security option.

BARRY LOWE Managing director, TPTechnologies, Freedom Mill Barn, Otley Road, East Morton Keighley

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