Are two-way radios beneficial in schools?


Schools and other education settings are increasingly using two-way radio to ensure they are able to communicate between teaching, administrative, maintenance and management staff. As you may already be aware, there are many benefits including increased operational efficiency, enhanced site security and no reliance on network connectivity.

This article will take you through the tangible benefits of using two-way radio in schools, and how they can effectively be integrated with other on-site systems, such as fire and intruder alarms to effectively support rapid lockdown and emergency evacuation procedures.

Large-scale supervision

Two-way radios can aid and assist with the supervision and management of large groups of people, coordinating efforts to keep track of groups across a large area, which leads to one of their more common uses: playground supervision. When watching playgrounds and playing fields, it is quite possible that a single teacher might not be able to see the whole perimeter, or all the children playing, from one position. Having a number of staff spread around, able to communicate with each other quickly over distance, helps keep track of an entire school’s worth of children.

Quick and effective fire evacuation

Schools can often be large, sprawling sites with many different rooms, departments and buildings; a fire marshal’s nightmare when it comes to emergency evacuation. With multiple fire marshals sweeping a building, two-way radios allow instant communication so each area cleared can be called in. If a child is missing from a particular mustering point, the fire marshal sweeping that area can be informed in order to make them extra vigilant to the potential presence of a child separated from their group. These uses can shave precious seconds off an evacuation, meaning the pupils can be safely accounted for in a fast and efficient manner, or an alarm swiftly raised if they are unaccounted for.

Supporting rapid lockdown procedures

Although relatively infrequent, pupils and staff need to know how to respond to lockdown procedures. Should a suspicious individual be observed near the school perimeter, staff members can be informed and a description passed quickly and efficiently. In a more serious scenario, if there is an intruder alert, radio equipped staff members can coordinate efforts to keep children safe.

Not just a walkie-talkie

Want your radio communication system to work harder for you and your school? Integration with your existing on-site fire and intruder alert can enhance all your emergency and incident procedures. Your staff can be provided with accurate incident location data, send messages or emergency alerts at the push of a button and even deliver messages from a building management system to help avoid expensive reactive maintenance costs. Third party system integration with your radios offers increased security, operational efficiency and the confidence to more effectively manage both day-to-day operations, and one-off incidents alike.

No phones policy? Two-way radio could be the answer

So why use two-way radios and not mobile phones in schools? Other than the fact that radios can send a message out across a whole team with one push of a button instead of making individual private calls like a mobile, more and more schools these days are adopting a ‘no phones’ policy on the grounds that smart phones can take videos and photographs, which has obvious implications when the subjects of those videos and photographs are likely to be children. Two-way radios give effective, team wide communication with no option to record video or images, making them a more professional choice for a school environment.

Don’t have two-way radio in your school but keen to explore the benefits? Got a radio communication system but want to understand how it can work even harder for you? PCE has provided two-way radio solutions to schools, colleges and universities – all with a variety of budgets. View our case studies to read how radios improved on-site communication, safety and security, or contact our team for an obligation-free chat.

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