HALO Smart Sensor: Helping schools tackle bad behaviour

Badly behaved pupils can seriously disrupt secondary schools and sometimes will damage school property. We can offer schools in Bristol and across the south-west a smart detection device that will pick up disruptive behaviour allowing staff to react quickly and deal with troublemakers.

The HALO Smart Sensor can be placed discreetly in private areas, such as school toilets and changing rooms, that would be unsuitable for video camera surveillance. The device monitors anti-social behaviour via its aggression detection feature. By applying machine learning the HALO learns what normal sound levels are and alerts when a threshold above normal is detected for a specified length of time.

The device can then can pick up when a number of children have gathered together, children shouting, signs of fighting or pupils potentially being bullied by others. An alert can be sent by email to designated staff when the abnormal noise levels are detected and action can be taken quickly to deal with the bad behaviour.

This can mean that perpetrators of aggression against other students or those vandalising school property within toilets can be stopped and dealt with quickly. Being able to do this should act as a deterrent but also means that repeat offenders can be dealt with more effectively by the school and should reduce the amount of staff time spent on tackling anti-social behaviour.

With its two inbuilt microphones, the HALO Smart Sensor can also respond to calls for help from staff or students using specific keywords. Users can select from a list of pre-programmed help words which when shouted out will generate an alert so that staff can rapidly deal with emergency situations.

Meanwhile, if students choose to try and damage the HALO Smart Sensor devices, they will discover they are more robust than they look and boast an IK10 rating, which means they are built to withstand heavy impacts. Additionally, the HALO has an alert that will notify you if it is being tampered with.

Vaping causing poor behaviour

Schools we have supplied the Halo Smart Sensors to have usually contacted us initially because of the rise of vaping among their students. A survey of 4000 teachers in the UK conducted for the teachers’ union, the NASUWT, which was published last October found 85% of teachers believe vaping is a problem on school premises.

Over half (54%) of teachers reported that some pupils repeatedly leave lessons in order to vape, while a third (35%) report that some pupils are struggling to concentrate in lessons due to the effects of nicotine. 75% of teachers stated that vaping has increased in schools over the past year—on average, they said the problem has grown by 25%—but only 20% believed that their schools had effective policies to deal with vaping. While most respondents were teachers in secondary schools, some primary teachers reported pupils as young as ten bringing vapes into school.

The HALO Smart Sensor is the only vape detection device that can alert and differentiate between vaping, vaping with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is found in cannabis, and intentionally masking vaping behaviour, for example, by using aerosols to cover up vaping.  The Halo Smart Sensor is also the only sensor on the market that can detect ‘Heat Not Burn’ vapes, ensuring the Halo can detect all varieties of vapes.

Government announces ban on disposable vapes

At the end of January the government confirmed that it is to ban disposable vapes across the UK. The government said disposable vapes have been a key driver in the rising numbers of young people vaping and it is also concerned about the environmental damage that they are causing when thrown away.

A law to restrict vaping was promised by the UK government in last year’s King Speech and forms part of its wider proposals to gradually eliminate smoking, “Stopping the start: our new plan to create a smokefree generation”.  The Scottish and Welsh governments are also committed to enacting laws to ban disposable vapes.

The government consulted on these plans and it has now published its response. The consultation showed overwhelming support for measures to limit the availability of disposable vapes: 80% said there should be some kind of restriction on their sale and 69% were in favour of a ban. Respondents included parents, teachers, healthcare professionals. When the law is introduced, there will be a six-month implementation period.

The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said: “As any parent or teacher knows, one of the most worrying trends at the moment is the rise in vaping among children, and so we must act before it becomes endemic.”

Further measures to reduce the appeal of vapes

As part of the new law the government will introduce powers to restrict the flavours of vapes, which it said are specifically marketed at children, and ensure that manufacturers produce plainer, less visually appealing packaging. The powers will also allow government to change how vapes are displayed in shops, moving them out of sight of children and away from products that appeal to them, like sweets.

To crack down on underage sales, the government will bring in new fines for shops in England and Wales which sell vapes illegally to children. Trading standards officers will be empowered to act ‘on the spot’ to tackle underage tobacco and vape sales. This builds on a maximum £2,500 fine that local authorities can already impose.

Vaping alternatives, such as nicotine pouches, will also be outlawed for children as the government said they are increasingly turning to these highly addictive substitutes.

In addition to the measures on vaping, it will soon be illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009. This means that children turning 15 this year or younger can never legally be sold tobacco. The government said that stopping young people from ever starting to smoke would protect an entire generation from smoking harms as they grow up.

If your school is concerned about the level of anti-social behaviour or vaping among students the HALO Smart Sensor can help you tackle these problems. If your school is based in south-west England or south Wales we can supply, and if necessary install, these devices to you so if you want to find out more contact us .