LVS Oxford: Keeping Staff and Students Safe in School - Open Reality

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LVS Oxford: Keeping Staff and Students Safe in School

Executive Summary

The IT and management teams at LVS Oxford wanted to pioneer the use of a Real-Time Location System (RTLS) within an educational establishment.

Open Reality installed and configured Ekahau RTLS to provide the staff and students of LVS Oxford with a safer and more environment.

We recommend Ekahau RTLS and Open Reality to any school wanting to give its staff the assurance and confidence that they will receive assistance fast if they or another staff member or pupil feels their safety is compromised.

Adrian McGarry, Director of ICT

LVS Oxford Logo

LVS Oxford provides day and boarding education for young people with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum, including Asperger’s syndrome.


People living with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome face challenges including difficulties with communication, empathy and rationalisation.

This creates a risk to themselves, staff and other pupils.

LVS Oxford needed a solution that would enable staff members to summon help fast if they needed it, and assure parents that their children are always in a safe and monitored environment.

Adrian McGarry, Director of ICT at LVS Oxford, saw the opportunity to use a real-time location system as he had seen the solution being used in a number of healthcare environments including NHS hospitals.

The Solution

The Ekahau Real-Time Location System (RTLS) works over an existing Wi-Fi network and is very simple to use. It maps the location of all staff wearing a live tag to a central dashboard. Help is summoned by the user activating the tag or a “live-man’s trigger” launches if there is no movement.

In addition to real-time location, it can also be used to communicate directly between individuals via two-way text or, if required, to send mass notifications to groups or all to alert or steer people away from danger.

The skills and knowledge demonstrated by Open Reality, Ekahau and HP was exceptional. The expertly managed project team made light work of the complex installation, an installation that would be beyond the capabilities of any internal school IT team. As a result, we opened LVS Oxford with an exceptional staff and pupil safeguarding system, one that we would recommend to any school or similar environment.

Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans

A pilot was set-up at LVS Oxford’s sister school in East Sussex, LVS Hassocks in early 2014 to see exactly how the Ekahau RTLS would work in a live school environment.

The test period was reported to be a success with major educational benefits. The amount of one-to-one support offered could be increased, because its provision was no longer reliant on a second staff member being available. This in turn meant lessons were less fractured and students could experience the full benefits of one-to-one attention.

As a result of the pilot, LVS Oxford opened in September 2014 with Ekahau RTLS.

There are already plans to extend the use of Ekahau RTLS to all outdoor areas at LVS Oxford.

To optimise the effectiveness of the Wi-Fi network for this purpose, it is likely that the IT team will use another Ekahau leading Wi-Fi solution, Ekahau Site Survey (ESS), to plan and survey the Wi-Fi extension.

Sarah SherwoodEkahau RTLS has proved the perfect solution to enhancing the personal safety of staff in the school.

The system works silently and the tags look similar to a standard ID badge. This means they neither distract nor upset pupils when they are worn or used, which is a vital requirement.

Teaching and support staff say that when wearing the RTLS badges they have the absolute confidence that if they do need to summon help at any time or from any location in the school they can. This is a major benefit, not just to staff, but to the pupils and their parents too.

LVS Oxford’s pioneering use of Ekahau RTLS badges in a school environment follows our policy to provide the best supported learning environments for our young people.

Sarah Sherwood, Director of Special Educational Needs

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Open Reality was awarded BlueCoat Vendor of the Year for 2013 because it understands our products, what they do and how they can empower a business.
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