Securatech has installed a Salto access control system for Leighton Christian School in Tasmania. The system protects 2 campuses, as well as 560 students and 130 staff.

SAME as many schools Leighland Christian School in Tasmania had been using a legacy master key system to control access across its 2 campuses. With an eye to the future, the school decided it needed a more accountable and flexible access control system, covering all doors and entrances at its Ulverstone campus.

In the event of an emergency or lockdown situation, the well-being of staff, children, and visitors is paramount, and Leighland Christian School was committed to improving the management of these risks. Staff were also frustrated by the time it took to obtain keys to areas of work, and the security of the premises was compromised every time a key was lost or borrowed.

With its security supplier Securatech, the school specified SALTO access control for enhancing the risk management of the school sites. Using battery-operated stand-alone electronic locks, SALTO’s SVN data-on-card system dispenses with the need for conventional keys. Instead, programmable RFID contactless credentials (such as cards and fobs) allow or restrict access to different parts of the school.

“I’ve seen a number of locking solutions over the years, but they didn’t have the flexibility I was looking for, nor the centralized control,” said David Grey, business manager for Leighland Christian School. “SALTO was fit-for-purpose and surprisingly cost-effective. The wireless technology gives you the ability to retrofit hardware to doors and can also accommodate any extra doors as our requirements grow.”

SALTO XS4 online and offline electronic locks, GEO cylinder locks, XS4 Locker locks, and control units have now been installed on both Leighton campuses, controlling 190 doors around the school in administration areas, offices, classrooms, common areas and storerooms. Access points were also added to 4 automatic doors, an external gate and the building lift. The school employs SALTO SVN-Flex, a feature that enables SALTO locks and cylinders to directly update cards at the door, reducing the cost and operational inconvenience of installing and using dedicated update points.

“If someone is doing a relief lesson in an area they don’t normally work in, it’s a very simple change at the front desk,” Grey said. “They don’t have to walk 150m to the office to get another key – we can re-programme over the phone and it’s done. If an access fob is lost, it can be instantly deleted from the system without the need for rekeying or changing locks; saving time and money.”

Another powerful feature for the school was the ability to lockdown immediately from a central control point. The lockdown can be activated through ProAccess Space software or via a physical emergency lockdown button located in the admin area. Leighland also plans to put in place an emergency evacuation button to allow free movement through the building when needed.

“SALTO is an excellent choice for schools with the long-term vision to better manage their environment,” said Kaleb Lehman, director of Securatech. “With the support of David Grey and fantastic input from Karl Slater at LSC – their technical support is outstanding – we worked hard to ensure the project was well planned and met the school’s requirements.”

The biggest challenge for the installation was managing the transition from traditional to electronic keys during the initial roll out when both systems were in use. Securatech planned this carefully by pre-loading all staff and access points into SALTO’s ProAccess Space software, as well as issuing out credentials in advance before any hardware was installed.

“We introduced the badge-in/badge-out roll call readers to the entry of the school to provide updates to every door while the hardware was going in. This allowed us to add doors as they were needed without disrupting users,” Lehman said.

Leighland’s second campus in Burnie should be completed by the end of the year, enabling staff to use a single access credential across both campuses. Safety and wellbeing are emotive topics for everyone in education, and the introduction of SALTO has shifted attitudes towards security in the school.

“SALTO creates a culture of trust.” said Grey. “We want to be a modern school that has confidence in its community and provides everyone with the access they need. Above all, we want parents to come into the school and see we provide a safe environment for their children. With SALTO, secure, flexible and reliable access control is a systemized outcome – it’s the way we do business now.”