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ISONAS systems help improve security and control of building access at Malvern College
ISONAS systems ensure that only permitted personnel can access the various school buildings at appropriate times

Located on a beautiful campus in the heart of England, Malvern College is a co-educational school for pupils aged 13 to 18. Founded in January 1865 with two dozen boys, half a dozen masters, and two houses, Malvern has, whilst maintaining the finest traditions, grown to provide an innovative and forward-looking education to 350 students in 45 buildings spread over 250 acres.

In 2006 the College began an upgrade project to both improve the security and control of building access by replacing the existing mechanical keypad locks with an access control system which could be integrated easily with other critical school systems. “We wanted to create a state-of-the-art building access control system that is second to none,” says Sean Ryan, Estates Bursar at Malvern College. ISONAS has provided a system that more than meets such criteria.”

ISONAS PowerNet reader-controllers

The installation of the ISONAS PowerNet reader-controllers were both retrofitted to many of the school’s 45 buildings, and installed in newly constructed buildings including new residence houses and a new state-of-the-art athletics complex.

The services were implemented by integrator NetNodes Limited of Birmingham, UK linking the ISONAS Crystal Matrix Access Control Management software system with the school’s complex SQL/LiveDB database. “We synchronise users, groups and badges regularly from the SQL servers,” states Stewart Johnson, Managing Director of NetNodes. User permissions are managed for over 1,000 individual users in over 150 dynamically changing user groups, with access permissions provided on a door-by-door basis for pupils, instructors and administrative staff personnel. As pupils and staff join or leave key groups in the school systems, these changes are reflected in the ISONAS systems to ensure that only permitted personnel can access the various school buildings at the appropriate times.

Monitoring and maintaining security for entire school community

A unique integration with the school’s time and attendance application provides for “Registration”, a legal requirement for schools, which must be done twice daily to ensure that pupils are safe and their whereabouts known. Time and attendance scripts are run at the end of each day and reported to the boarding house staff by email, notifying staff which pupils have not used their access cards and well as those who have not registered in the past 12 hours. Additionally, maintenance staff clock in and out using their ISONAS access cards. Once daily a script is run and emails are generated to indicate which staff are either late or absent. “These tightly integrated school systems offer the most advanced, dynamic access control available to the staff and pupils of Malvern College”, states Mr. Johnson. “The combination of auto-synchronisation of users, groups and badges along with flexible email reporting of access logs and events have made the ISONAS system a key tool in monitoring and maintaining security for the entire school community.”

Economic benefits

The economic benefits of the ISONAS system are viewed as an advantage as well. The installation on a cost-per-door basis was quite low due to the lack of a separate access control panel. Additionally, the physical installation of the PowerNet reader-controllers was primarily provided by a combination of in-house personnel and 3rd party contractors, thus further reducing up-front costs. “Since the ISONAS system is network based, the ability to add system capacity on an as-needed, door-by-door basis allows us to expand at our pace as building and budget realities allow,” says Mr. Ryan. “We get exceptional access security for our facilities along with economy and flexibility. We wanted a second-to-none access control system and with ISONAS we have exactly what we were looking for.”

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