Key management at your schools
This guidance provides advice on managing keys and master keys.
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Schools should set up systems for controlling keys and managing master keys. Your property is open to theft, damage and loss caused by lost or stolen keys.
Losing keys is a major problem at schools.
Keep control of your school’s keys by:
- having a register of all keys, with the names of who has them
- keeping the number of keys issued to people at a minimum.
Master keys are keys that will open all important locks in the school.
You can minimise the number of locks that require replacement if the master key is lost or stolen by having a master key that accesses a keypad system which can then be used to unlock the rest of the school. Then if the master key is lost, only one lock needs to be replaced.
Manage your master keys by:
- keeping them in a secure place
- not labelling them with the school’s name.
You're covered under our School Buildings Insurance Funding programme for lost or stolen keys, up to $50,000.
In this situation, schools should consider using an electronic swipe card system, which means a lost swipe card can be deactivated and you don’t have to change any locks.
If you're buying a new locking system, always order spare key barrels. This lets you replace a barrel instead of the entire lock if a key is lost.
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