Protect high value areas across campus and safeguard students to ensure their safety and good behavior.Download PDF
The Academy installed Avigilon HD cameras to achieve 24x7 coverage of the main entrances, parking lots, athletic fields, corridors, cloak rooms, and technology suites. Walsall Academy also deployed Avigilon analog video encoders to boost the performance of its existing analog-based cameras, which are located throughout the interior of the school. This hybrid system is managed using Avigilon Control Center Enterprise network video management software (NVMS). Walsall Academy also installed an Avigilon HD network video recorder to store up to 6 weeks of continuous surveillance video.
Enhanced image quality and advanced functionality have improved overall security at the Academy, causing a ripple effect amongst students and contributing to good overall behavior. Because of its user-friendly interface and ease-of-management, Walsall Academy has been able to train more users on the Avigilon HD Surveillance System to share the workload and achieve greater investigative success. Users can now search for details in a third of the time previously required and can quickly and easily export video to share with local law enforcement. By leveraging its fixed assets and improving the performance of its analog cameras, the Academy has saved significant installation and maintenance costs, and was able to upgrade to HD surveillance for the same cost of adding analog cameras.
- Leveraged fixed assets
- Faster investigation times
- Improved overall conduct
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Walsall Academy Upgrades to Avigilon Control Center Enterprise NVMS to Create a Powerful Hybrid Surveillance System that Improves Campus Environment
Built in 2003, Walsall Academy in Bloxwich, West Midlands is a state- of-the-art facility that offers 1,150 secondary students the opportunity to specialize in science, technology, and performing arts, along with a wide range of academic and work-related courses. Walsall Academy instills a positive culture where high standards and traditional values of good behavior, honesty, and mutual respect are the hallmarks. Focused on providing a calm and purposeful yet challenging learning environment, Walsall Academy recently upgraded its surveillance system to the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, leveraging its superior image clarity and advanced functionality to better protect its high value areas and safeguard staff and students.
Meeting National Standards in Education
The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (OFSTED) was established in 2007 to ensure the highest standards in care and education for children, young people, and students of all ages across the United Kingdom. In recent years, student safety has become a top proirity for OFSTED inspectors, who carry out hundreds of reports and regulatory visits each week. Walsall Academy’s overall effectiveness has been graded outstanding, not only for excellence in academic achievement, but also because of its students’ exemplary behavior, due in large part to the Academy’s ability to manage student behavior firmly but fairly. “Having a reliable, high quality surveillance system to monitor hot spots across the campus has played a significant role in our ability to not only protect our high value areas – such as our technology and music suites – but also to ensure our students’ safety, well-being, and good conduct,” explained Adrian Bowater, Director of Finance at The Walsall Academy. “We are proud to have achieved such high standards in student behavior.”
“Avigilon Control Center Enterprise software is not only highly effective, it is also very user friendly.”
Surveillance Grows as Needs Evolve
A 189,000 square foot two-storey facility, Walsall Academy installed a basic analog-based surveillance system when it was first built but found that the image quality and management features could not always meet their needs. “As we identify new areas that require coverage, our needs have naturally evolved – and will no doubt continue to do so over time,” explained Bowater. Limited by a fairly tight budget, the Academy was not in a position to replace its existing analog system entirely, but wanted to improve its system performance and investigative success. To achieve his performance goals, Bowater chose to upgrade the Academy’s software for better results and turned to the experts at Technical Services (Shropshire) Ltd., a local provider of surveillance system design, installation, and service, who recommended Avigilon. “To make better use of our existing cameras, we chose to upgrade to the Avigilon Control Center Enterprise network video management software (NVMS) platform to enhance system management and dramatically improve image quality, leading to more effective investigations and greater conflict resolution.”
Avigilon Protects Academy
Administrators now seamlessly manage the Academy’s hybrid surveillance system using Avigilon Control Center Enterprise NVMS with HD Stream Management and installed Avigilon HD cameras to monitor main entrances and parking lots for reliable license plate recognition, and to cover corridors, cloak rooms, and technology suites for greater image detail and facial recognition. Walsall Academy also installed Avigilon analog video encoders to boost the performance of its existing analog-based cameras which are located throughout the interior of the school, and an Avigilon HD network video recorder (NVR) to store up to 6 weeks of continuous surveillance video – a big improvement over its previous system, which could only store seven days of footage. “We now have fuller coverage of the facility so we can track who is onsite to ensure the upmost security at any time of the day or night,” said Bowater. The Avigilon HD Surveillance System operates 24x7 and is monitored live by administrators during the day and remotely by key staff if necessary.
“Leveraging Avigilon Control Center’s advanced search capabilities, we can find specific footage in a third of the time, significantly expediting investigations.”
An Early Success Boosts Behavior
“The surveillance system is critical to our ability to track students’ behavior and reduce horseplay and petty theft,” explained Bowater. With the Academy’s previous system, particularly in high traffic areas, Bowater was not always be able to identify a student involved in a misdeed. “Now, when we add new cameras, we find that the problems move to other areas that aren’t currently being monitored – a mark of the system’s success in helping to reduce student misbehavior in key areas.” As budget permits, the Academy will expand the system to cover all hot spots.
Advanced Features Improve Manageability and Effectiveness
According to Bowater, “Avigilon Control Center Enterprise offers great flexibility to dramatically improve our ability to research difficult situations, significantly boosting our overall investigative success.” Without a full-time security staff, school administrators manage the surveillance system, so ease-of-use was another top priority. “Avigilon Control Center Enterprise software is not only highly effective, it is also very user friendly,” said Bowater. “The school’s previous analog- based surveillance system was simply not as intuitive, requiring a certain level of expertise to manage it.” With support and training from Avigilon’s partner BFI OPTiLAS Ltd., school administrators were quickly up and running on the Avigilon HD Surveillance System – and achieving remarkable results. “Previously, we only had two technical staff members who could work the old analog-based system but with Avigilon Control Center Enterprise, we were quickly and easily able to expand the team to share the load,” he added.
Saving Time and Closing Cases
With advanced features to improve performance and manageability, Avigilon Control Center not only saves the Academy time, it also dramatically improves investigative success. “Leveraging Avigilon Control Center’s advanced search capabilities, we can find specific footage in a third of the time, significantly expediting investigations,” added Bowater. The school can also quickly and easily export video and photos to give to local police officers who have occasionally relied on the Academy’s surveillance system in their own investigations.
“By deploying the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, we were able to expand our coverage and improve image quality for the same cost as adding more analog cameras.”
HD Surveillance at the Cost of Analog
Like most educational institutions around the world, Walsall Academy must find innovative solutions to advance the educational experience while working within fairly tight budgets. With this in mind, the Academy chose the Avigilon HD Surveillance System because it leverages the school’s fixed assets while significantly improving overall system performance. “Because our analog cameras are not that old, we did not feel the need to replace them entirely, but at the same time, we didn’t want to run two separate systems,” said Bowater. By installing Avigilon analog video encoders, Walsall Academy can actually achieve better results with its analog cameras without the expense of having to remove them and install cabling for all new cameras. “By deploying the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, we were able to expand our coverage and improve image quality for the same cost as adding more analog cameras.”
A Ripple Effect Makes the Difference
A key tool in the Academy’s plan to maintain excellent student behavior, the Avigilon HD Surveillance System has helped Walsall Academy create a safe and enjoyable environment for students and staff. “With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System in place, our students know that we can achieve better quality footage if incidents do occur, which has caused a ripple effect across the student body to improve overall conduct,” concluded Bowater. “You can almost feel the difference.”