Gateway 6th Form College, Leicester, UK
Photo credit: (photo courtesy of Gateway College)
Grosvenor Technology’s new SATEON browser-based access control system has revolutionised Gateway College’s management of its security, student attendance and daily registration. Leicester-based Gateway 6th Form College has 1,600 students and staff, and offers both A Level and vocational courses, helping to prepare the students for university and employment. The College was an existing user of Grosvenor Technology’s JANUS access control system, when it chose to upgrade to SATEON, allowing it to tap into unparalleled features and integration capability.
SATEON is a 100% browser-based access control system without compromise, allowing system configuration and administration tasks to be done from any PC on the network or from anywhere with secure remote access over the internet. This is an attractive and powerful feature for the College as Paul Taylor, Gateway College’s IT & Estates Manager explains, “Previously we had a single PC to manage the entire access control system. With SATEON we have given access to a wide range of people from the Reception staff through to the Senior Leadership Team - all without the need to install any software. This has allowed the college to streamline its registration and attendance procedures.”
SATEON is a resilient IP-network based solution that uses an industry-standard scalable Microsoft SQL Database. This was another reason the College chose SATEON for its upgrade, as it allowed seamless integration with other SQL-based systems in the College, such as GLIDE - Gateway Learning Information & Data Environment. GLIDE is a bespoke student records system, which is now fed with real-time attendance information from SATEON as students enter and leave the building. GLIDE offers teachers a gallery of student photos for their class to aid registration. Now the teacher knows when the student is actually in the building, but not in the class and can send them a text-message as a reminder to attend.
“We are a small College and everyone enters and leaves through turnstiles at one main entrance using their personal contact-less MIFARE smart cards. At peak periods such as break times, we can often have over 1000 students per hour passing through the turnstiles. This is a demanding situation that would not be typically replicated at other larger campuses and puts a huge load on the system - a load which SATEON manages well,” explains Taylor. “As well as the turnstiles, the system also controls access to car park barriers, lifts and internal doors.”
As SATEON is fully compatible with the JANUS hardware, Gateway College was able to completely reuse all of its card readers, Intelligent Door Controllers (IDC) and network infrastructure. Each IDC is able to control two doors/locks and interface to a wide range of industry standard card readers and lock mechanisms. The existing system has a number of spare channels, which allowed the addition of ASSA ABLOY Aperio wireless locks to protect the music room and a reader/lock to be put on the bike shed. The bike shed was a particular problem for the College, with vandalism and damage to bikes an on-going problem. Now any student wishing to use the facility has to show the admin staff their bike and their smart card is added to the database to allow access.
“We are starting to implement further enhancements using SATEON’s powerful features,” added Taylor. “We are using SATEON’s integration capability to synchronise with our existing Vicon CCTV system, so that when an access control alarm is triggered, such as when someone pushes through a turnstile, we can instantly view the video footage from the nearest CCTV camera. We can easily search through the video to identify if students are using someone else’s smart card. We are also looking to streamline our enrolment process using SATEON’s photo ID card production facilities.”