Case study

St Edmund Campion Catholic High School

Industry

Education

Year founded

1976

Location

Birmingham

Product

CCTV system

The client

St Edmund Campion School is a Catholic coeducational secondary school located on the corner of Holly Lane and Sutton New Road in the Erdington area of Birmingham. The school was founded in September 1976 and currently has over 1,050 students.

The safety and welfare of its students is of the utmost importance to St Edmund Campion School. The school is committed to safeguarding and, with a strong sense of community, strives to create a safe and supportive environment where students can grow and thrive.

Due to frequent disconnections and reduced image quality during peak times, the school upgraded its CCTV system to ensure student, staff, and property safety with improved security and stability.

 

The issue

For a long time, the school has seen issues with their previous CCTV system. Due to mixed traffic with standard data, their CCTV system regularly disconnects or drops recoded image quality during busy periods. This proved a security risk and also a stability risk.

The school has historically needed a vast spread of CCTV across the site to ensure student safety and safeguarding. This is common with many High Schools, but as with this school’s dedication to student safety, they wanted the most robust CCTV system for their students, teachers and staff.

 

The objectives

  • Monitoring: One primary objective is to have a robust surveillance system that can monitor different areas of the school in real time. This includes main entry and exit points, hallways, classrooms and parking areas.

  • Deterrence: Visible cameras act as deterrents to potential miscreants. The mere presence of surveillance can discourage unwanted activities, reducing incidents of theft, vandalism, and other security breaches.

  • Vandalism prevention: St Edmund Campion School has experienced past incidents of vandalism. With the new CCTV system, potential vandals would know they’re being watched, making them think twice before causing any damage.

  • Unauthorised entry: The new CCTV system ensures that any unauthorised individuals entering or attempting to enter the school premises can be promptly identified and addressed.

  • Real-time alerts: The new CCTV system can send instant notifications to the security team if suspicious activity is detected, ensuring immediate action can be taken.

  • Emergency protocols: In situations like a fire or any other emergency, the security team can use live feeds to determine the best evacuation routes or locate anyone trapped or in distress.

  • Evidence gathering: 30 days of stored high-definition footage can serve as evidence in case of disputes, thefts, or other incidents, providing clarity on the sequence of events.
  • Accountability: Recording interactions ensure that everyone on the school premises behaves responsibly, knowing their actions are documented.

  • Review and analysis: Regularly reviewing footage can help the school identify potential security weak points or understand patterns in student behaviour, aiding in proactive measures.

  • Transparency: Sharing the objectives and operations of the CCTV system with the school community can foster trust, as everyone understands its purpose and the safeguards in place.

  • Safety perception: Knowing that a robust security system is in place can ease concerns, ensuring students focus on learning, staff on teaching, and parents are assured of their children’s safety.

 

Challenges and solutions

 

Inadequate performance of the previous CCTV system

Challenge: St Edmund Campion School grappled with performance issues concerning their prior CCTV system for a long time. Due to the system’s traffic being mixed with standard data, there were frequent disconnections and drops in recorded image quality, especially during peak data usage times. Not only was this a glaring security loophole, but it also posed a significant stability risk, making the footage unreliable.

Solution: To overcome this challenge, the St Edmund Campion School invested in a dedicated network for the CCTV system, isolating it from standard data traffic. This ensured uninterrupted, high-quality footage regardless of other network activities. Furthermore, the school opted for a CCTV system with a buffer capacity to handle high data rates, ensuring no drop in quality even during heavy usage.

 

Comprehensive coverage for safety and safeguarding

Challenge: Given the school’s expansive layout and unwavering commitment to student safety, there was a need to have an extensive spread of CCTV across the premises. This broad coverage was essential to ensure comprehensive monitoring and uphold the school’s dedication to the safety of students, teachers, and staff.

Solution: To cater to this need, a detailed site survey was conducted to identify all potential blind spots. The school then installed cameras at these strategic points to ensure every area was accounted for. We have implemented a cutting-edge OM4 MM fibre network across the school premises to provide ultra-fast connection for dedicated coverage and safeguarding.

 

Implementation process


Assessment & planning

Before the installation, we comprehensively assessed the school’s network infrastructure to identify any weaknesses and areas that could be improved. An experienced security systems expert performed a thorough site evaluation and needs analysis to develop customised recommendations to meet the school’s requirements for budget, minimal disruption, and limited cabling. To ensure maximum coverage, we evaluated the school’s layout to identify critical areas for camera placement, such as entrances, exits, corridors and parking lots.


The steps or processes involved

After extensive research, we chose the state-of-the-art CCTV system with high-definition cameras, night vision capabilities, and 30-day storage backup. In addition, the system also included mobile and desktop applications for real-time monitoring. Our expert technicians installed the cameras at strategic locations, ensuring maximum coverage. We paid particular attention to the wiring to ensure it was concealed and protected from damage or tampering.


Network upgrade

  • Installation of OM4 MM fibre network: Devereux Data rolled out an advanced OM4 MM fibre network across the entire school. This ensured enhanced data transmission rates and provided the ultra-fast bandwidth required for the high-definition surveillance system.

  • Ultra-powerful 16-core solution: The newly installed network utilised the powerful enterprise-grade 16-core solution. This design choice aligned with the Department for Education (DFE) standards. Moreover, it provided the flexibility of having additional cores that could be dedicated to the school’s regular data network.

  • Network segregation: A crucial part of this upgrade was the clear distinction between the CCTV and the data networks. This segregation ensured the surveillance system operated without interruptions or lag, even during peak data usage.


Enhanced recording capacity

  • 128-Channel Network Video Recorder (NVR): Post the network upgrade, Devereux Data installed a high-capacity 128-channel NVR. This future-proofed device can record and store high-definition footage from multiple camera feeds.

  • Extended Storage: The NVR provided a solution allowing the school to continuously record high-definition footage for up to 30 days. This ample storage capacity ensured that the school could review and analyse footage from the past month, which would be helpful in investigations or compliance checks for any device or location.

 

High-resolution access for management

  • Customised PC setup: Recognising senior management’s need to access real-time and recorded footage, Devereux Data equipped them with a high-specification PC. This PC, powered by an ultra-powerful GTX3080 gaming graphics card, is optimised for video playback and high-resolution streaming 24/7.

  • User training: The Devereux Data team provided complete training sessions to help the management make the most of the new setup. The school’s security team was also trained to use the new system effectively, including reviewing footage, saving clips for evidence, and receiving real-time alerts.

 

On-site monitoring hub

  • Decoder installation: A dedicated space in the boiler room was transformed into an on-site monitoring hub. The Devereux Data team installed a state-of-the-art decoder, allowing school staff to view multiple camera feeds simultaneously.

  • Multi-screen display: The decoder was connected to a five-screen ultra-high resolution display setup, providing a panoramic view of the school’s premises.

  • Android control interface: To simplify the navigation and control of this system, an Android Keyboard paired with a Joystick Screen control was provided. This intuitive interface ensured even staff with minimal tech experience could operate the system effectively.

 

Resulting improvements

  • Performance beyond expectations: The comprehensive overhaul of the surveillance infrastructure led to remarkable system quality and reliability improvements. The school’s leadership noted that the revamped system’s capabilities exceeded their initial expectations.

  • Secure and high-quality footage retrieval: The clear segregation of the CCTV and data networks meant that the surveillance footage remained pristine and unaffected by other network activities. The school staff can now access high-resolution images quickly, ensuring timely responses to any incidents.

 

The installation was carried out carefully, considering core and non-core hours to ensure minimal disturbances. Our engineers worked closely and seamlessly with the college’s facilities team throughout the process, adhering to rigorous health and safety protocols. The outcome was a better-protected school against threats, strengthening its security efforts.

The new CCTV system has been a massive improvement for our school's safety and security. Devereux Data team's honest approach and their clear attention to detail was very apparent. They were always there to address our concerns and the challenges posed by our school's failing computer network to support the system. Now we have access to clear footage, and getting recordings quickly has been a lifesaver for the school's Senior Leadership Team. The improvement of the system has exceeded our expectations, and we couldn't have achieved this without support and training. We recommend Devereux Data’s services, and we'll look to them for any future projects. Their work has helped to make things safer for our students, teachers, and staff.
A Martin
St Edmund Campion Catholic High School