Educational institutions face a unique set of security issues in order to ensure student safety. They must protect vulnerable student populations while balancing budget limitations, the desire to maintain inviting spaces for the students and community, and maintain government safety standards.
Media coverage of a number of school related tragedies has spurred upgrades to security equipment and procedures focused on student protection as public outcry boosted funds available for security spending. As a result, there has been a shift at a large share of schools — particularly primary and secondary — to devote a portion of their budget each year to evaluating and improving their existing security systems.
Read more to see how security challenges vary by the type of education facility.
Primary and secondary schools accounted for 54 percent of demand in 2015. These institutions include both public and private schools for kindergarten through 12th grade, most often single-building campuses. Their position as the leading spender on security products and services results in part from their large numbers. Additionally, these buildings — which are intended to remain fairly open to the community — must at the same time protect the vulnerable student populations, as well as the teachers and staff.
Scott Lord, Director of Innovation at All Systems, commented on the challenges he sees facing schools today: “Security technology, in schools today, is now equal to a life safety system such as fire alarm and sprinkler systems. Yet, educators are tasked to be ‘instant experts’ in security and provide processes and technological solutions to keep kids safe with little, or no, training, guidance or additional funding. The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (www.PASSK12.org) has provided a standard that educators can use to strategically improve security over time. In fire safety, the last tragic fire event in a school occurred over 50 years ago; our schools can make the same history, in security, by looking at what works and planning accordingly.”
Higher education facilities, or degree-granting institutions, account for the second largest segment of the education security product and service market, representing 35 percent of sales in 2015. Their large, multi-building campuses make coordinating security more complex than most other educational settings. Many higher education institutions also house part of their student population on campus, increasing the need for a higher level of security during all hours of the day.
Other educational facilities include day care centers, tutoring centers, and non-degree granting institutions such as certificate business and trade programs. Although other educational facilities accounted for more than half of the total in 2015, they represented only 11 percent of security spending that same year. These facilities tend to be less intensive spenders per facility than primary and secondary or higher education institutions and are less likely to implement comprehensive security systems.
Learn More About Education Security and Student Safety
Check out Education Security Market, a new industry study by the Freedonia Group, a leading market research firm. The study analyzes the demand for a wide range of security products related to schools and universities.
In addition, be sure to check out a free, newly released PDF by The Freedonia Group titled Services and Equipment Trends in the Security Industry, which offers a broader look at the security sector as a whole.