North Bromsgrove High School is a medium-sized school in Worcestershire with approximately 800 pupils. Their new, purpose built facilities offer an excellent learning environment, with student’s GCSE achievements placing North Bromsgrove in the top 10 schools in Worcestershire and earning them the accolade of most improved school in the County.
Andy Whordley is the school’s Network Manager. After a recommendation from another local school, he looked to SG World for a visitor and staff management system which would improve their data management, the visitor’s first impressions of the school and their health and safety practices. The school were also looking for a solution which would bring the reception area’s technology up-to-date, while saving money and being consistent with their modern culture.
Data management was an important aspect of the reception function that the school were keen on improving. Andy explains: “We had an older style signing in and out sheet, which was supposed to be used every day by visitors and staff. However, it was very cumbersome and only being used 60% of the time. We needed an accurate, more efficient system which would record exactly who was on the premises at any given time. Thanks to VisIT ED, we now have 100% of staff and visitors signing in and out correctly.”
Creating an even stronger first impression was also part of North Bromsgrove’s agenda.
Andy explains: “Our receptionists do a terrific job and we wanted to compliment this with a 21st century, professional welcome for our visitors, which would meet the modern culture of our school.”
“We were experiencing queues of visitors and staff at Reception so needed to speed up the process on busy days. We knew that simply asking them to ‘sign here’ could be improved with the VisIT ED system, which prompts a series of questions such as name, where the individual is visiting from and the purpose of the visit, with all the information confidentially stored on the computer. Staff also have a much quicker signing in and out experience, thanks to the badge scanner which comes as part of the VisIT ED system.”
“We wanted a system that made it clear that we remember our visitors; the VisIT ED system allows us to do just that. We can hand each repeat visitor their badge on every appointment, without the need for them to provide their details all over again.”
Safeguarding & health and safety are taken very seriously at North Bromsgrove School. Embedding VisIT ED into their processes now gives peace of mind that the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (section 3) is being followed and that pupils are being safeguarded better than ever whilst at school.
“We haven’t had a fire drill since the system was installed 4 weeks ago, however we are due one very shortly,” Andy says. “We have tested the data that VisIT ED produces in the event of a fire; it creates a lovely report which has details of all staff and visitors on site - much better than carefully checking the tick boxes on our old system and seeing which lanyards had been returned - if any!”
He continues: “We are further protecting our visitor’s health and safety whilst on site and the children’s safeguarding is being protected even more, thanks to a 100% accurate record of our visitors on the premises at all times.”
SG World pride themselves on providing bespoke, unique sets of products without a ‘one size fits all’ attitude. VisIT ED for instance comes with a very popular digital touchscreen option, which can be wall or desk-mounted and used to quickly sign in and out of any building.
Andy says: “Working with SG World to include our individual health and safety processes on the back of each staff and visitor badge was very simple and SG World professionally worded this for us. They also worked closely with us to fully customise our system, in which we chose the paper badges, badge scanner and software database from the VisIT ED system.”
“When I joined North Bromsgrove 18 months ago, part of my job was the technology updates,” Andy explains. “When our attention was brought to Reception, we knew that we needed VisIT ED as a way of going paperless and to make life easier for our receptionists.”
“We purchased 2,000 badges every 6 months with our old system; now we’re purchasing much less, as we are able to re-issue the same badges for our repeat visitors,” Andy says. “We paid the one-off cost for the software and kit and we will just order more paper passes on the rare occasion that we run short. We will soon make our money back and will continue to cost-save in the long term.”So what does the future look like for North Bromsgrove with their new visitor management system?
“We’re hoping that the system will eventually be used by our 6th Formers,” Andy says. “Then there’s the Ofsted benefits and continuing to protect our pupils, staff and visitors going forward.”
“We’re very pleased with the system. It’s helped us meet our goals and initiatives and SG World have fitted in nicely with North Bromsgrove. We’d definitely recommend them to other schools as they’ve saved us money and the product has a professional look, which is fully customisable. We definitely got our money’s worth.”