IDIS video technology boosts security at Swanshurst School in Birmingham

One of Birmingham’s top secondary schools has switched to IDIS video technology in a determined drive to improve security, safety and standards of personal behaviour. With its ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating, Swanshurst School is one of the city’s most popular destinations for girls’ secondary education, with more than 1,800 pupils aged 11 to 19 currently on its books.

Swanshurst School’s strategic business manager Annette Tyler feels that video monitoring is key to the efficient use of resources at the school. “We have such a busy site. This means that the ability of our senior team to see who’s entering or leaving, and to remotely monitor corridors and lobby areas, is crucial to fostering a safe and welcoming learning environment.”

The school’s old CCTV system was proving difficult to use, with poor quality recordings that were hard to search through. IDIS technology was chosen to replace it. The priority for the upgrade was not just price – although budgets remain tight for many schools – but also service and performance.

Tyler stated: “To avoid a potentially costly mistake, we researched what other schools had done and looked for personal recommendations. Then we selected Unison Integrated Technology only after comparing our three shortlisted quotes and satisfying ourselves that the IDIS system would do what we wanted.”

Camera-rich solution

The new solution comprises close to 110 cameras. IDIS’ DC-D4213WRX vandal resistant Full-HD IR domes provide coverage for most of the school’s internal areas. More than 70 have been installed. They capture pin-sharp images in all lighting conditions, handling rapid variations in brightness and shade thanks to their true wide dynamic range (WDR) and infra-red performance giving an impressive 30 metres’ range at night.

The 27 IDIS DC-E3212WRX vandal resistant bullet cameras, which were installed to cover entrances and external areas, also deliver powerful IR night vision with low light enhancer technology. Allowing the installation team to work more quickly, these cameras use Power over Ethernet to eliminate the need for additional cabling, while the hierarchical connection between the cameras at the NVRs further guarantees the most efficient method of cabling.

Optimum recording capability is provided by four IDIS NVRs (32-channel DR-6332PS-S recorders), which achieve 370 Mbps throughput to ensure no latency on live footage and image capture in Full-HD.

IDIS dual codec performance means that all footage can be recorded in HD H.265, but still viewed on older H.264 smart phones, tablets and monitors, so there’s no need to upgrade until the end user is ready. Built-in Power over Ethernet switches save further on hardware and installation costs.

Video monitoring software

In the event of network instability or failure at the school, IDIS’ Smart Failover technology means the cameras’ SD card instantly begins recording and automatically transfers the data to the NVR after recovery, thereby eliminating the risk of gaps in footage.

Now, with minimal training, authorised senior staff and the Swanshurst School reception team use the intuitive IDIS Center video monitoring software (VMS) to live-monitor internal and external areas and quickly search recorded footage to find events of interest. This capability is already proving to be a useful deterrent.

“The solution installed by Matt Rodden and his team at Unison Integrated Technology far exceeded our expectations,” observed Tyler. “The project was delivered efficiently and the system is so easy to use. Our pupils, their parents and our members of staff all appreciate the added protection that the new cameras afford.”

Looking ahead, Swanshurst School also has the assurance that the system will remain affordable to run, with no additional fees for the IDIS Center VMS, plus options to adapt the system very easily thanks to the guaranteed forward and backward combability of IDIS’ tech.

“Together with our integration partners, IDIS works very hard to ensure a low total cost of ownership,” commented James Min, managing director of IDIS Europe. “This is why we’re confident in offering the industry’s longest warranty against faults and in giving customers like Swanshurst School the best protection for years to come.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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