School Safety and Security Audit Toolkit
1.4 Writing Audit Reports
An audit report is intended to be an organized way to provide results from a safety and security audit of a school or facility. The extent and detail included in a written school or facility audit report may vary based on the number and size of schools and other facilities audited. The report should identify areas and processes that need improvement as well as commending those good practices and conditions present. The audit report should include feedback from surveys that were collected, results of intruder assessments, observations from the facility site visit as well as from the review of emergency operations plans (EOPs) and other documents.
This is an internal report for use by campus and district administration and should remain confidential. This report is not to be sent to the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) but should be retained for use in developing improvement plans or other district reports and to assist in the completion of the District Audit Reporting Tool (DARtool) for submission to the TxSSC.
The district may desire the facility audits to be incorporated into a comprehensive audit report for all district facilities or to be used to prepare for the sharing of audit results with the district’s board of trustees. The team that conducted the audit for that facility should write the report. Depending on the communication process for the district, this report should be presented to the school principal, leadership team, or facility manager, as well as shared with the district administration. The report should include the following sections:
- Demographics: The report should begin with the demographic information that was gathered in the demographic section of the School Facility Audit Checklist.
- Results of Entrance Conference, Interviews, and School Climate Surveys: The report should include a summary of the concerns of administrators, staff, and students that were voiced at the entrance conference and from the staff/student surveys, including a sample of the open-ended comments that were made.
- Facility Site Visit: The report should address findings from applicable sections of the School Facility Audit Checklist used in the audit, while highlighting specific areas of interest or concern.
- Document Review: The report should include the results of the document review with specific information about which documents were reviewed as well as findings and recommendations.
- Commendations and Recommendations: The report should summarize the findings with a list of commendations and a prioritized list of recommendations including supportive context.
Identifying Commendations and Recommendations
The facility audit team should develop a list of commendations and recommendations. A commendation acknowledges the school or facility accomplishments and competence identified by the audit team. Be specific in letting the school or facility know the things they are doing well.
Prepare recommendations with a goal of providing reasonable solutions for areas or processes that need updating or improvement. Safety and security practices in schools can almost always be improved. In many cases improvements are identified through an injury or breach of procedure. Recommendations for improvement also come from new or emerging innovating methods or best practices. When determining audit team recommendations, the team should reflect on the following:
- Does the data indicate a need for this criterion to be in place at the school or facility?
- Is this criterion considered a best practice in school or facility safety and security?
- Is this criterion already in process on the campus or facility?
- Will the addition of this criterion make the school or facility a safer or more secure place?
The audit team should prioritize the needs of the facility while making recommendations for improving safety and security. Cost-benefit analysis may be considered in deciding what recommendations to make to improve an area of concern.
Creating a Facility Audit Report
The School Audit Report Template is provided to assist in writing a school or facility specific report capturing safety and security information identified in the facility audit. It includes information identified during the facility audit. Districts are encouraged to add more detail to the report and to include photos or other documents that add context and examples for both commendations and recommendations.
School Audit Report Template
The audit team should submit the completed facility audit report, to the principal or facility administrator and the district administration. The audit team should be available to review the report with the principal or facility administrator and to assist with the development of improvement action plans. Copies of the facility audit report should also be submitted to the superintendent or their designee for documentation as well as for inclusion in the district reporting of audit results to the board of trustees in accordance with Texas Education Code 37.108(b).