Little Aston Primary School in Birmingham, England, is keeping the UK's first ever interactive playground safe and secure with the help of a CCTV system from Dedicated Micros, part of AD Group.
The school is the very first in Britain to have its own outdoor interactive playground that enables children to log onto a computerized system, collecting points from nine different pieces of apparatus around the playground as they play. "It's fun and keeps the children active," explains Headteacher Liz Pearce.
Little Aston's new Finnish-designed play equipment, with its Smartus computer nerve centre that links directly to the school's ICT (Information and Communications Technology) suite, is a significant investment and one that needs round-the-clock safeguarding. Liz and her team opted for CCTV equipment from security and surveillance pioneers Dedicated Micros, on the advice of local security installer Spectre.
To guard against vandalism and theft of the school's new equipment, Spectre specified a Dedicated Micros NetVu Connected SD Digital Video Recorder (DVR) and a pole-mounted 2060 dome camera, both of which can integrate with the existing network of five CCTV cameras."
With an onus on educational establishments to make sure children are properly supervised, the new installation has already proven itself to be a valuable investment. Liz continues, "If we were deemed to be not supervising the children appropriately then our insurance could be invalid and that is simply not acceptable for a school. This is particularly relevant now that we have a piece of equipment as tempting to children as the electronic playground."
To ensure the school gained the most benefit from the system, the DVR was installed in the school's main office and linked to a permanent large display screen. The flexibility the Dedicated Micros SD unit offers means that office staff can keep an eye on the electronic playground covered by the new dome camera and simultaneously view the rest of the school premises covered by the existing camera network.
In addition, Liz also has access to the images using the Dedicated Micros NetVu ObserVer software which transfers the images over the schools existing IP network. The network enabled viewing capability of the SD unit also extends to remote viewing over a standard internet connection if any out of hours problems occur.
As experts in CCTV installations for the education sector security installer Spectre's Managing Director Steve Bonnell highlights differences between this and other sectors: “In a school environment there are no security guards, so specifying equipment that is easy to operate is essential for the end user.