Clevedon School handed £400k from Government to improve security

Headteacher Jim Smith with pupils from Clevedon School. Picture: Mike Thie

Headteacher Jim Smith with pupils from Clevedon School. Picture: Mike Thie - Credit: Mike Thie

Clevedon School has been handed one of Britain’s highest school payouts to upgrade the site’s safety and security systems.

It was handed £400,000 from the Government after the school was forced to go into lockdown last year after reports of a gunman ‘acting suspicious’ in the woods surrounding the school.

The money will cover electronic pedestrian and vehicle gates, a perimeter fence, ‘intelligent’ HD CCTV, a new fire alarm system and a new security door.

It came from the Condition Improvement Fund, an annual bidding process in which the school has been successful for the past four years.

The school, in Valley Road, was one of just 1,300 across the country to receive a grant, which was also 20 per cent larger than the average grant received by other schools.

Headteacher Jim Smith said: “We are delighted to once again have a winning bid as it will significantly improve our site safety and security.

“The work commences almost immediately and then through the summer holidays.

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“The most visible change will be new automatic entrance gates with many of the other projects not instantly visible.

“We have worked hard with contractors to find solutions which retain our openness and wonderful setting balanced against responding to student voice which stated they wanted a secure fence around the site.”

The new security measures will ensure the safety of pupils daily as well as tighter security if a major incident occurs.

Schools across Clevedon were forced into lockdown in September when police received reports of a man ‘acting suspiciously in the woods’ near Highdale Road.

The report came in just as pupils were preparing to leave for the day and the police advised headteachers to keep the students inside their schools while they searched the woods.

Pupils and parents took to social media to share the news but, following an extensive search, no-one was found and no arrests were made.

The schools were locked down for around 30 minutes while the search was completed.

The Department For Education allocated £514 million across the 1,556 schools and academies to create better opportunities in schools.