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Locking Gates


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I have been contacted by a primary school with regard to pupils with additional support needs who regularly abscond from the school, sometimes reaching busy roads.

They have requested that an external gate be padlocked to prevent this; this gate is situated between the final exit from the school and the fire assembly point.

My view is that while not ideal, the real risk of a child escaping and being run over makes it acceptable to lock this gate during the school day, as long as the school manages this in the event of an evacuation

ie ensuring that keys are always available and the padlock is monitored and maintained to ensure it's correct operation.

The school in question is a new building with a sprinkler system, L1 detection and multiple final exits around the building.

Any comments/advice would be appreciated.

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Sounds reasonable to me if managed correctly, certain Care Homes have similar issues where there is a greater risk of residents wandering off. I've risk assessed a similar educational establishment where there is an absconding risk and a security/fire safety balance has had to be made. 

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