More than a hundred schools are set to boost their security programmes with closed-circuit television cameras, following Government awards worth more than Pounds 2 million.
The Home Office has given schools priority in its CCTV Challenge competition because of the Dunblane tragedy in March and the fatal stabbing of London headteacher Philip Lawrence late last year.
Schools featured in 333 out of the 800 bids for a total of Pounds 17 million. Community groups and industrial estates also submitted bids.
Only 86 of the bids involving schools - less than a third - proved successful, but these involved 120 schools throughout England and Wales.
Both winners and losers have criticised the bidding process. "I think the system is totally inadequate," said David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers.
"We need a system whereby all demands for school security will be the subject of substantial grant money to address a whole range of methods, of which closed-circuit television is just one."
Pippa Gamester, head of administration at The Langley Manor School, which won more than Pounds 11,000, said she felt desperately sorry for the schools whose bids had failed.
"All schools need security cameras and they should all be able to have them," she said.