Swanshurst School aspires to maintain outstanding performance with IDIS video surveillance

  • IndustryEducation
  • CustomerSwanshurst School
  • RegionUK
  • IDIS PartnersUnison Integrated Technology


Effective video coverage is key to safeguarding and standards

Swanshurst School is one of Birmingham’s most popular destinations for girls’ secondary education, with more than 1800 pupils aged 11 to 19. To maintain their outstanding OFSTED-inspection rating, the school’s leaders work hard to promote the highest standards of personal behaviour and performance.

The use of video monitoring is key to efficient use of resources at the school. With such a busy site, the ability of senior staff to see who is entering or leaving, and to remotely monitor corridors and lobby areas, is seen as crucial to fostering a safe and welcoming learning environment.

But the old video system at Swanshurst was proving difficult to use and unreliable, there were gaps in coverage and the cameras were struggling to deliver consistently high image quality. With budgets always tight, a more capable solution was needed.


Learning from other schools to find the best technology

The new solution had to be installed quickly and it would need to provide comprehensive HD video coverage of corridors, key areas outside classrooms, parking spaces, the school grounds and entrances.

For the schools’ Strategic Business Manager, Annette Tyler, the priority for the upgrade was not just price, but service and performance, because she knew that the right solution would be a deterrent to low-level disruptive incidents as well as reducing the more serious risks that schools face, including intrusion and fire.

Time-stretched senior staff wanted to be able to use the video management software (VMS) without over-complex training, and to get best value, the new solution would need to be durable and easy to maintain going forward.

To avoid a potentially costly mistake Annette Tyler researched what other schools had done, and looked for personal recommendations. After comparing the three final quotes the management team selected Unison Integrated Technology to implement an end-to-end IDIS solution. In fact, the proposal that Unison had come back with was much more impressive than the school had been expecting.


Powerful cameras and recorders allow high definition coverage of the full site

With full technical support and rapid stock delivery from IDIS, Unison Integrated Technology had just five weeks to complete this major upgrade. The new solution comprised close to 110 cameras. IDIS’s DC-D4213WRX vandal resistant full-HD IR domes proved to be the perfect units to provide coverage for most of the school’s internal areas and more than 70 were installed. Not only do they capture pin-sharp images in all lighting conditions, easily handling rapid variations in brightness and shade thanks to their true wide dynamic range (WDR), outstanding infra-red performance gives an impressive 30 metres range at night too.

Powerful IR night vision, with low light enhancer technology, is also provided by the 27 IDIS DC-E3212WRX vandal resistant bullet cameras, which were installed to cover entrances and external areas. Allowing the installation team work more quickly, these cameras use Power over Ethernet (PoE) 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.

Impressive recording capability is provided by four IDIS NVRs (32-channel DR-6332PS-S recorders), which achieve 370Mbps 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 high-definition H.265 but still viewed on older H.264 tablets and other devices if HD monitors are not available, so there’s no need to upgrade until the user is ready. Built-in PoE switches save further on hardware and installation costs. In the event of a power failure or network instability, IDIS Smart Failover technology provides multi-layered protection against video data loss due and eliminates the risk of gaps in recordings.

Results and Benefits

End-to-end solution surpasses expectations

With minimal training, authorised staff, including the head teacher, the safeguarding officer and reception staff, are now able to use the intuitive IDIS Center VMS to live monitor internal and external areas, and quickly search recorded footage to find events of interest. This new capability is already proving to be a useful deterrent, confirms Annette Tyler, with pupils, parents and staff all appreciating the added protection that the new cameras gives.

IDIS DirectIP® guarantees a low total cost of ownership (TCO), with no additional fees for the IDIS Center VMS, plus the reassurance of easy adaptability in the future, thanks to the guaranteed forward and backward combability of IDIS tech. In addition, the industry’s longest warranty, the IDIS Ultimate Warranty, gives the best protection against equipment faults.

"The new IDIS solution installed by Matt Rodden and his team at Unison Integrated Technology far exceeds our expectations. The project was delivered as efficiently as promised and the system is so easy to use, it’s exactly what we needed to protect our school community."

Annette Tyler
Strategic Business Manager