Cameras installed by parent

18th October 1996 at 01:00
A primary in Alloa, 12 miles from Dunblane, has become the first Scottish school to install a security system funded by a parent. Tom Matchett, whose son attends St John's primary, has paid Pounds 7,000 to set up round-the-school cameras, backed by a digital entry system and security locks. Mr Matchett, a businessman, said: "After the tragedy, I felt primary schools were particularly vulnerable."

Keir Bloomer, director of education in Clackmannan, welcomed the additional assistance. The council, the smallest in Scotland, acted swiftly after the Dunblane shooting and has put Pounds 60,000 into school security.

Edinburgh City Council has spent Pounds 250,000 fitting door entryphone systems to nurseries and primaries. Seventy per cent of schools are covered. Over the past four years, the city has installed security cameras at 30 schools and cracked down on fire-raising and vandalism at a cost of more than Pounds 600,000.

In Glasgow, a series of seminars is being organised for headteachers. Ian McDonald, depute director of education, said: "There is a recognition that fortress schools are not terribly desirable or feasible but heads want a better means of controlling access."

The council is likely to install secure entry systems in primaries and introduce identification badges in secondaries.

East Dunbartonshire is carrying out a safety audit of its 46 schools and has developed a checklist of measures, ranging from raising awareness among staff and pupils to restricting access points and improving reception areas.

North Ayrshire had agreed to spend Pounds 120,000 on security before the Dunblane incident but has since added to its programme. Limiting access by inserting locks will cost Pounds 450 a door, totalling Pounds 85,000. Security badges and visitor books will cost Pounds 4,000, video surveillance Pounds 16,000 and fencing Pounds 2,000.

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