Should Security Guards Be In Schools?

Written by Holly Savage

22nd June 2021

In recent years, UK schools have often become victims of crimes due to increased violence in schools and school buildings being left empty during the weekends and throughout the school holidays. This increase has left many people wondering what security for schools is like, and should security guards be in schools.

We’ll be discussing this and more, such as what are the most common security risks within a school, what a school security officer is, and what are the benefits of having school security guards.

What Are The Risks In A School?

Schools are often busy and unpredictable, and they can fall victim to crime. Some of the most common security threats within a school are:


  • Vandalism.
  • Knife crime.
  • Break-ins.
  • Theft.
  • Violence.
  • Slips, trips, and falls.
  • Bullying.

Do Schools Have Security Guards?

Yes, some schools will hire security guards, as guards have been known to act as an excellent deterrent against thieves; and they can provide schools with a strong security presence. Security guards will work in a variety of different schools such as colleges, universities, first schools, middle schools, and high schools.

Do Schools In The UK Have Security Guards?

Yes, some UK schools will have security officers in place. And this will generally be up to the wishes of the school if they decide to have a school security guard in place. In the UK school security guards are typically known to work on university campuses rather than in first and high schools.

school security guard

What Is A School Security Officer?

Security guards are a great security measure that many schools may use. A school security officer is a static security guard working within a school building. And their primary responsibility is to ensure the protection of school buildings, staff, and pupils.

What Do School Security Guards Do?

As we mentioned above, the main role of a school security guard is to ensure that both the staff and pupils are kept safe. They can also improve the safety of the actual building, especially when it is empty overnight and at the weekend.

To attempt to stop unauthorised persons from entering the premises, they can control entrances and access points to the school. They can conduct regular but random patrols of the school campus both during the day and in the evening to ensure that it is safe and secure.

Additionally, security companies can install CCTV in and around the building, and security guards can be used to respond to any incidents caught on camera. Suppose there are any incidents involving angry or volatile students or visitors.

In that case, security guards are trained to diffuse the situation, detain anyone if necessary and make sure that everyone feels safe. This can lead to a reduction in damage to the school building and threatening or violent behaviour against staff or pupils.

school security

How To Be A Security Guard At A School?

There are a few things that you will need before becoming a security guard who works in a school; these are:


  • Having a first aid qualification.
  • Having a background check.
  • Being at least 18 years old.
  • Having a valid SIA security guard licence.
  • Having an enhanced DBS certificate.
  • Having the right to work in the area you are planning on working in.

How Much Do School Security Guards Get Paid?

In the UK, the amount that a school security guard earns will typically depend on the area that they are working in and the type of school they are working in. Security guards who work in first and high schools will typically earn between £10 and £11 per hour. While university campus security officers have been known to earn on average £27,327 each year.

Are School Security Guards Armed?

A common question asked about school security guards is whether they are allowed to be armed. And well, this will often depend on the area that a guard is working in. Some schools in America will allow guards to be armed. However, in the UK it is impossible for armed security to work in schools due to the UK’s strict laws on firearms.

school security officer

Would You Feel Safer With Armed Guards Patrolling Your School?

As we mentioned above, armed school security officers typically only work in American schools as it is illegal for people in the UK to carry weapons. Some people find that armed guards offer reassurance as they are more prepared to deal with any potential security situation. However, other people worry that armed guards may cause potential harm and could appear scary to children.

Having armed security in schools is a common ongoing debate and there are many pros and cons for having an armed security guard patrol a school. Ultimately it is up to the wishes of the school whether security guards are allowed to carry weapons or not.

Should Security Guards Be Armed In Schools?

According to UK laws, it is illegal for close protection operatives or private security guards to be armed in the UK due to their strict gun control laws. Therefore, it is not possible for armed guards to work in schools. And there is no reason to debate over whether school security guards should be armed in schools as it is not possible.

security in schools

Are School Security Guards Allowed To Touch You?

School security guards are allowed to physically restrain people like the general public are, but only if it is necessary. Any member of the public is permitted to use reasonable force to protect themselves and others.

Security training often includes a section on how to effectively restrain someone from stopping them from being a harm to themselves and others. Security guards can also detain people until the police are able to attend the location if necessary.

Should Security Guards Be In Schools?

Security guards can be a great advantage to school security because they can supply schools with a strong security presence. This security presence not only showcases to criminals that a school is well protected, but it also creates a safer working environment, and this safe working environment can allow teachers and students to feel more confident about their safety.

Another reason why school security guards may be hired is due to school buildings being left empty for long periods of time. Having a school security officer patrol an empty school building at night or during the school holidays, can reduce the chance of break-ins and school theft from happening.

Why Do Schools Have Security Guards?

The main reason why schools may decide to employ security officers is to ensure the safety of their staff and pupils. Many parents and family members are worried about the safety of their children. Having security personnel in place at a school can give family members peace of mind and give them reassurance about their child’s safety.

should security guards be in schools

Why Is Having Security Guards In School Important?

Having a security guard in public schools is important as it can make the environment feel safer and reduce the risk of incidents. There are increasing complaints in educational establishments about bullying, with other issues, which can have an impact on well-being and academic achievement.

Security guards can patrol and protect a school campus and the pupil and staff within it. This means that the campus is well-guarded during the day when pupils are present and at night when it may be a target for break-ins or vandalism.

Security guards will spend a lot of their time patrolling the buildings to ensure that there are no issues or security breaches. Schools with security guards are less likely to be the target of crime as they are a deterrent to criminals. This can save the school money over time as they will not need to repair as much damage to the property.

Benefits Of Having Security Guards In Schools

There are many benefits to having security guards in schools. School security guards who are highly trained and experienced can react well in an emergency situation, relying on their training to control the situation while staying calm and collected. Many are first aid trained and can tend to those who are unwell or wounded, helping them until a paramedic arrives. Additionally, if the area is not safe, security guards can escort pupils, teachers, and visitors to a safe area. Security guards are also trained to liaise with the police if there is an issue that requires law enforcement.

Most importantly, perhaps, security guards can also provide reassurance for both pupils at the school and parents who send their pupils to it. As security guards can limit the impact of any incidents and keep the building safe from intruders, parents can rest assured that their children are in a safe and secure learning environment.

benefits of security guards in schools

How Can We Improve School Security?

There are many steps that can be taken to improve school security. Firstly, it is vital to secure all access points to the building as this can stop the intrusion of unwanted visitors. Having fewer access points that are operated by security staff allows the school to know exactly who is entering the premises and when.

Additionally, adding CCTV to a school building can deter criminals from targeting the empty building and can also deter pupils who are considering causing incidents that may damage school property or harm other pupils. CCTV can be monitored, and on-site security guards can respond promptly to any issues, de-escalating them quickly.

Finally, security patrols around the school grounds and within the school building can improve school security. Like CCTV, security guards can act as a deterrent, and being on campus allows any incidents to be dealt with swiftly.

So, Should Security Guards Be In Schools?

Although school security guards aren’t always as common in the UK, can be a great asset in ensuring the protection of a school. And many schools that have guards in place have found guards can stop their property from being targeted by thieves.

If you’re interested in hearing more of the latest security guard news, why not check out our blog? Where you can find articles about if security officers are considered to be law enforcers and if guards get drug tested.

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