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Ofsted and ID Badges: What's your opinion?

Discussion in 'Ofsted inspections' started by jamesandrewbateman, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Hi All,

    First time poster here, please excuse if I have placed in the wrong category.

    I'm wondering if you can help me out with some research I've been asked to do. I'll be straight... I am trying to find out what teachers feel towards Ofsted's recent buzzword 'Safeguarding' and in particular the necessary inclusion of ID badges to increase security.

    Do they have a positive place improving school security or are they seen as a needless hassle that offers little or no increased safety in schools?

    Improving school security is not as simple as hiring a guard at the gate. Horrid events such as Dunblane and the Columbine high school shooting indicate it is far better to prepare and save lives than just stay optimistic. Improving school security means taking a holistic approach to seeing the school as a vital asset and developing a partnership among teachers, students, parents and the community.

    There is definitely a feeling of controversy towards the effectiveness of ID badges as a security measure which in this particular primary teacher thread leads me to think there are huge concerns related to the overall concept, let alone in regards to the feeling of 'just another needless security measure':

    "A Yr 8 girl commented that if were wearing badges then therefore we were peadophiles!!!!!
    - Another Yr 8 told the nearly 30 years of service teacher, 'everyone knows you're a teacher why should you have to wear the badge?'
    - No facilties to cope with the someone forgetting to bring it in!
    - H&S risk for PE staff and DT/Science teachers - PE technician got his caught up in a javalin on the first day!"

    Does it seem like the companies responsible for supplying ID badges have not considered all the necessary needs and worked closely with schools to provide a solution to these problems?

    On the flip-side, positive praise to the inclusion of ID badges when used as part of an overall 'daily' security regimen can be sited in this particular Leader Education Magazine article:

    "Lea Valley High School in Enfield was rated outstanding for safeguarding by Ofsted in November 2009. Its staff are reminded about wearing their ID and checking visitors' badges in a daily briefing and the staff bulletin. Their ID cards are also used for the cashless system in the dining hall - an added incentive not to forget them.
    It is not unheard of for staff to lose their own ID, which means paying for a replacement. The school policy which requires ID to be worn at all times was drawn up to ensure that students and staff are not put at risk by unauthorised people wandering around unrecognised."

    So what are your thoughts on the 'pros & cons' of photo ID badges?

    What do you think can be done to improve an comfortable, effective and universally accepted form of security identification?
  2. I think you may have your facts slightly confused. Ofsted don't make rules, they just check that statutory requirements are met in relation to safeguarding. Since there are no statutory requirements for ID badges to be issued, Ofsted would not fail a school for not having them in place, unless of course pupls were at risk. The only statutory requirement is for schools to undertake identity checks as part of the vetting checks.
  3. I work directly with schools to ensure all safeguarding statutory measures are met and just as important best practice is embedded. That's what Ofsted and Estyn will look for. Safeguarding extends beyond vetting and security. I'd advise concise policies which are accompanied by one side A4 protocols ( think NHS flow chart style) to ensure staff, supply, visitors, students and extended service providers understand exactly what is expected of them whilst on site. There's no statutory requirement for ID badges ( despite what some sales companies say!) so it's up to you. My advice would be use them if you think it enhances practice. Visitor badges can be useful, particularly if staff and pupils know they can alert if they see a stranger in school without a badge- polite challenge of course. Hope this helps.
  4. Thanks for the replies, I think ID badges would be pushed from a sales point of view (more to the benefit of the company).

    I'm wondering now, if it's not a direct requirement; what are peoples views on having ID badges as part of the security system. Does anybody feel hindered by them or has anybody got a story of when they came into their own and helped a certain situation?
  5. My experience with ID cards is that schools embrace them for a few months, then gradually people forget them, "oh it's in my car", "oh, I left it at home". No one is ever called up for not wearing it and gradually they get forgotten about.
  6. Having worked at the school for 3 years, everyone knows me, even without my dog tag. If I see a stranger, I scan them for a visitor's pass. If my HoD who's been at the school for 25 years forgets her badge, I don't assume she's become a monster overnight.
  7. zinzan

    zinzan New commenter

    Sayhowitis- how does a visitor identify you though?
  8. re issues with badges you can get ones that are magnetic so clip onto clothing rather than needing a lanyard so are useful for some groups of staff, same format of badge but dont dangle! we got ours from same place we got lanyard ones as foundation staff felt they were leaning over pupils and badges hitting child
  9. dolor

    dolor New commenter

    I absolutely hate them in our tiny school but the headteacher thinks it adds something to image. Ridiculous
  10. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    I've been in some schools which have public footpaths through the grounds or even public buildings. Access control is effectively impossible. Staff with name badges can intercept unknown visitors and keep them to the places where they are welcome. Site staff wear clothing with clear logos so are also readily identifiable.
    As to forgetting the badge: in another industry staff without a badge are sent home unpaid. They don't forget!
  11. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Senior commenter

    I have worn an ID match almost every day for 30 years. No issues. How else would you know who is working in the school, who is visiting, who has DBS clearance and who doesn't? There are no safety concerns, it has a quick release if the lanyard gets entangled. Which it occasionally has.
  12. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Senior commenter

    I would definitely not wear a magnet. If the badge is swinging when you lean forward, tuck it into your clothing for a few minutes then untuck it. No one is leaning over children at the moment anyway

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