Security & Safety

Security & Safety Measures

St. Michael’s International School has a policy of welcoming visitors; however, we realize that problems can occur, on rare occasions, with handling difficult people. To minimize risk to the school community, especially in the era of COVID-19, we have introduced procedures to limit access to the school site.

School Grounds

The school grounds are bounded by perimeter security fencing creating a safe site. 

All children enter the school grounds via the main gate unless they arrive or leave the school late (e.g. after-school club) whereby they will enter or depart through the front office entrance. During the school day, the gate is locked. ELS students, visitors and late arrivals should enter by the main entrance pressing the security buzzer. 

The door leading into the main school building is closed between the hours of 09:15  and 15:00 to ensure tighter security during the school day. The main school area is therefore only accessible via an access code.

Parents are not allowed to drive their cars into the school premises other than in exceptional cases with prior authorization from the Head of School.

Access to the School Building 

In 2020-2021 school year, visitors to St. Michael’s are limited and by invitation only. 

All visitors to the school should report to the School Office area, which is clearly marked. In the first instance, visitors will be met by the School Secretary, they will be asked to sign in and give the reason for their visit.

All visitors are expected to wear a badge before they are allowed into the main part of the school.

No visitor is given unrestricted access to the school; this includes parent helpers. All children and staff are alert to unfamiliar adults in school. 

All staff, ELS students and staff along with the Parents of St Michael’s (POSM) members are issued with identification badges and everyone is expected to wear them at all times whenever they are on the school premises.

If a stranger is seen on the school grounds without a visitor badge displayed around their neck, a member of staff has the right to establish his or her identity and/or the reason for the visit. If the reason is not legitimate, the stranger should be asked to leave or reported directly to the office.

Volunteers, students on placement, accrediting teams, training providers etc… are asked to read and sign the  ‘General Safeguarding Procedures for Visitors’ agreement. 

If parents wish to take their child/children out of school during the school day, they should report to the main Office.  A request to take a child out of school should normally be made in advance in writing on the Request Leave of Absence form.

If a parent is causing a disturbance, becoming abusive or violent towards a pupil, member of staff or another parent, the Head of School of St. Michael’s International School might revoke the parent’s permission to be on the premises by taking the following action.

  • The parent can be asked to leave and will be told ‘I am revoking (withdrawing) permission to be on the school premises’.
  • If the parent still refuses to leave willingly, the Police will be called.

The police will be called immediately if there is an incident that is causing concern of an aggressive, abusive or violent nature.

Entering and Leaving School

Registration is between 08:50 and 09:00 and is taken electronically by the class teacher. The School Nurse checks registers by 09:30 and will follow up on any uninformed absences and update the electronic register as necessary A full set of registers will be printed by 09:30 by the School Nurse for use in the event of an emergency evacuation. Any changes afterwards will be recorded on printed version as well as the electronic register. Children who leave school early e.g. ill health, medical appointment will be recorded on the printed register. Any requests for leave of absence, agreed in advance, will be recorded on the electronic register by the Office Staff. 

Any concerns about student absence or lateness will be followed up in the first instance by the Class Teacher with the family. If concerns persist, the Class Teacher will contact the Deputy Head or the Head of School. Children who leave school before the end of the school day e.g. for a medical appointment or religious observance, must be collected by an adult.

Supervision During School Hours

The main gate and playground is supervised by duty staff each morning between 08.45 – 09:00. On arrival, children go straight to the classroom.  The Head of School closes the gate at 09:00. 

Children are supervised by a member of staff at all times when in the playground or on the roof during break and lunch times.

Children who need to leave school during the day for an appointment or to go home for lunch must be collected by an authorized adult. Prior notice should be given to the school, either by phone or in writing.

Leaving School at the End of the Day

There are duty staff in the playground and main gate each afternoon between 15.00 – 15.25

At the beginning of the school year all parents are required to fill out a permission slip to indicate who will be collecting their child from school and how they will get home. Parents with children in Nursery to Year Two take full responsibility for collection of their children at pick-up time by a named adult and children in Years 3-6 are allowed to go home alone if parents have indicated this on the permission slip. All teachers receive copies of the permission slips and if there are any changes to pick up arrangements then parents must contact the School Office and amendments are made and teachers informed.

At the end of the school day, the children normally leave by the main gate. If a parent is late, the child is taken to the School Nurse and parents are contacted to see what the delay might be. The child will stay outside the office, or other designated area, until an authorized adult arrives. No child is allowed to leave unless we are sure they are safe. 

Security of the Building

  • The school is connected to the Police and Fire Departments by a “HOTLINE” security system. The school is also monitored by security cameras.
  • The main school gates will be open and supervised from 08:45 to 09:00 and 15:00 – 15:30.
  • During the school day, the school can only be accessed through the main door on Tor Road which is security controlled.
  • Main door leading into school is closed between the hours of 09:15 and 15:00
  • All visitors report to the School Office.
  • They are required to sign in and sign out. All visitors are issued with Visitor badges.
  • If any person visits the school or is seen taking an “Interest” in a child or children in such things as playtime activities it must be reported to the Head of School immediately by whatever means is necessary but at no time leave the children unattended. 
  • Any unexpected, unannounced or unrecognised visitor entering the school or the school grounds should be “Challenged” by any member of staff who sees them by first saying to them, “May I help you?”
  • All staff will be informed if any circumstances prevail which prevents a child being taken out of school by any particular person.
  • The school grounds are monitored by more than five cameras 24 hours per day, including the playground. This CCTV footage is recorded
  • Alarm sensors are installed throughout the school and require staff to use a swipe card to access the building.
  • The office requires an additional code and after hours a special key.
  • All main doors and corridors have sensors attached\
  • A panic alarm button, connected to Hyogo prefectural police, is installed in the school office.
  • It is the responsibility of the class teacher to make sure that their classroom is secure, the windows closed and equipment switched off before leaving the premises.
  • Internal phones installed in all classrooms
  • A lock-down system exists in both the new and old building
  • Designated key holders are kept to a minimum.  

CCTV Protocol

We use closed circuit television (CCTV) system used to monitor and record areas of St. Michael’s International School for the purposes of safety and security of students and staff.  We aim to:

  • Provide a safe and secure environment for all St. Michael’s International School students and staff; 
  • Keep safe and secure all St. Michael’s International school assets and property;

The safeguards in place to prevent misuse include: 

○ Controlled access to the CCTV images 

○ Protocols for the release to third parties 

○ Defined and limited retention on periods for CCTV recordings 

○ Appropriate maintenance to ensure the systems operate correctly 

○ Appropriate records of the CCTV equipment in use and the release of any data to third parties 

CCTV cameras & equipment

The cameras are installed along the perimeter wall, entrances and exits and important locations including some of the hallways. The system has been set up to provide good quality images that can be used as evidence of criminal activity.

Every camera records simultaneously and the images are stored on disc for a period of no longer than 30 days. After that time all images are erased apart from any which relate to an incident (subject to an on­going investigation.) Routine checks are made to ensure that the system is operating in accordance with the terms of this policy, and that information relating to the recordings (date, time etc) is accurate. 

Use & Disclosure of Images 

  1. The CCTV images are monitored on a regular basis.
  2. The computer used to review CCTV footage is in the main school office. 
  3. Access to images by SMIS staff is restricted to: 
  1. Head of School
  2. ICT Director
  3. Office staff
  4. Access to images will also be made available as necessary to: Police, the contracted Security service or any other person assigned by the Head of School for a specific purpose.

Contractors in School

Maintenance work requiring an outside contractor is usually carried out during school holidays or weekends.  However, emergency repairs may sometimes require us to invite contractors to school during the school day. When contractors are working in St. Michael’s International School, the following precautions are taken:

The Head of School agrees a convenient time for the work to be completed – out of school time if possible – and school staff should be made aware of the work taking place and any possible Health and Safety issues. The School Caretaker, or other designated person, should check regularly that the work is being carried out safely.

Contractors should report to the main office on arrival and before leaving, signing in and out. When on the school site, badges, identifying the company for which they work, should be worn at all times. Contractors should complete maintenance logs, when appropriate.

Health and Safety standards should be observed throughout the period of the contract. On completion of the contract, any relevant documentation should be obtained, for example, electrical test certificates.

Fire Detection Systems

At St. Michael’s International School, we acknowledge that fire is a serious threat. To reduce the risk, we take the following precautions:

  • Fire detection and alarm systems are in place throughout the school and tested regularly. 
  • Fire drills take place each term. 
  • All fire exits are kept clear at all times and should not be left open or locked from the inside. 
  • Annual fire checks are carried out.
  • New fire panels, smoke and fires sensors were installed in 2015. 
  • Fire extinguishers are located in all teaching and central areas.
  • All school staff receive annual training in the safe and effective use of fire extinguishers.
  • The Facility Manager attends annual three day Fire Safety training at Kobe City. 
  • The school grounds are kept clear of litter and movable objects that could be used to start a fire.

Critical Incidents

If the security of the school is breached, leading to a critical incident the Crisis Management Policy is implemented with staff and Council responding to the procedures.

Reporting Incidents

All incidents of incidents, crime and losses are recorded in the Incident File, including information on the date, time, location, summary of  the incident, staff, students and/or parents involved, action taken.