Council makes the grade for school security with new key control system

St James Primary School

More than 70 schools and early learning centres in Renfrewshire, Scotland, are benefitting from improved security, key control and key management, as a result of upgrading to ASSA CLIQ® Remote.

With schools previously using complex master key systems, Renfrewshire Council faced a number of challenges, including consistency of approach, who had access to keys, and how this was managed.

To address these challenges, the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group recommended its ASSA CLIQ® Remote solution. To date, this has been installed in a total of 76 premises in Renfrewshire, covering a mix of primary schools, secondary schools and early learning centres.

The initiative won ‘Security Project of the Year’ at this year’s Fire & Security Matters Awards, recognising the impact that the ASSA CLIQ® Remote system has made to Renfrewshire Council. The awards celebrate the latest technologies and achievements in the fire and security sectors, promoting the importance of innovation while also underlying the highest standards of excellence.

ASSA CLIQ® Remote is an electromechanical solution, which uses high-end micro-electronics and programmable keys and cylinders to help the schools stay in control of access rights at all times. Schools can update each key remotely, removing or granting access privileges for the key holder in real time. This ensures only those with the necessary access rights can enter an area, eliminating the security risks associated with lost and stolen keys, while ensuring schools can easily be opened up by other trusted individuals if the senior facilities operative is unable to unlock the premises themselves.

Scot Fraser, facilities manager at Renfrewshire Council, says security was the main driver for choosing to upgrade to ASSA CLIQ® Remote. "It has brought real benefits for our schools and education facilities. We can be more flexible in how we manage access control, safe in the knowledge that these sites are secure," he says.

Each school’s senior facilities operative has a key, and spare keys are kept in a secure key cabinet in each of the five geographical clusters. "All of our team leaders have access to keys and a PD unit so they can update key permissions on the go, without having to visit an administratorn," explains Fraser. “ASSA CLIQ® Remote allows us to react quickly to sudden changes in access control needs and we are investigating the possibility of rolling it out as part of a change programme for our community centres.”

ASSA CLIQ® Remote is also in line with Renfrewshire Council’s sustainability ambitions too. The system’s keys use batteries, which typically last many years before they need replacing, and the fact that access rights can be updated remotely eliminates the need for car journeys to hand over a set of keys.


Barry Harris, regional specification development manager at the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group, says: “A lack of patent protection in the previous master key systems meant even if the schools had opted to implement new master key systems, the patent on these would have expired within 15 years or so.

“Once the cost of re-keying a suite was considered – potentially as much as £30,000 for a secondary school, and up to £10,000 for a primary – it was apparent that ASSA CLIQ® Remote would offer a futureproof and cost-effective solution for these sites.

“Finally, the fact the system can be scheduled to allow contractors access to certain areas for only a defined period was a big bonus. As well as providing a full audit trail of who has accessed a door and when, once the job is complete the contractor can simply return their ASSA CLIQ® Remote key and then the school can update this for any future workers.

“ASSA CLIQ® Remote is efficient, cost-effective and responsive. It delivers everything a school needs when it comes to security, key control, and key management, without the need for additional wiring to doors due to the cylinder being powered by the long-life battery in the key. Now, the facilities team can have one key that opens over 70 buildings in the region, with each member of staff also equipped with their own unique key, which can have its permissions changed in minutes.”

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