Downs School

Portcullis knows the value of the UK education sector and how important the safety of students and teachers are during school hours. In addition to the requirements beyond those hours and the risk of criminals, vandalism, theft and arson.

About the Project

We have worked with the Downs School in Berkshire, a highly regarded co-educational comprehensive school and sixth form college, to create and manage a strategy for their perimeter security.

Originally the school had all three entrances managed by manually operated gates for pedestrian and vehicle access. However, they found this became both a security risk and a logistical issue. It was almost impossible to safely manage the entry of pupils and staff, with three entrances all of which needed to be opened and closed manually.

It didn’t help the logistical aspect that the gates were all used for different things, the main gates being used early and late in the school day for entry and exit by pupils and staff, the “bus lane” gates for buses to enter and exit at the beginning and the end of the day and the other entrance gates used all day by various goods vehicles.


    What We Installed
    • Automatic Pedestrian Gates
    • Automatic Vehicle Entrance Gates

    More Info 

    As part of the process, we carried out full in-depth surveys and attended meetings with the Downs School senior staff and governors to agree the most cost-effective security solution for their property, students and staff.

    We agreed to provide, install and maintain automatic pedestrian gates and automatic vehicle entrance gates. Palisade gates were installed on a hydraulic system specified to work effectively even in windy conditions due to the exposed location. Resistive safety edges were added to the front and rear of the gate to ensure the safety of the pupils, staff and visitors.


      Access control was provided in the form of intercom systems with integral coded keypads, at each of the three gates. The intercoms were configured to communicate with the school switchboard during normal school hours and transfer to the necessary staff mobile phones outside of those hours.

      For emergencies, fire brigade drop switches were installed at each gate.

      All our systems are fully compliant with HSE and Ofsted guidelines and standards.

        About the Downs School, Berkshire

        Set in the heart of the West Berkshire Downs, The Downs School has approximately 1215 students and provides a balanced approach to the pursuit of excellence by offering an interesting, challenging and lively curriculum.

        Students can gain academic, creative, sporting and social skills, both in and out of the classroom, ensuring a well-rounded learning experience for all. They are rated as Outstanding by Ofsted and work on the philosophy of “Learning together, learning for life”. Their seven key values are courage, responsibility, equality, ambition, resilience, creativity and integrity.

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