When visiting our campuses, one of the first staff members you meet will likely be part of our friendly Security team. They play an important role in ensuring the safety of our students, families, staff and visitors.

Head of Security, Charles Broers, is keen to share practical tips and tricks so our community can stay safe inside and outside school.

Caution is the parent of safety

American proverb

The summer has come to an end, schools are back in full swing, and the (in)famous Dutch autumn has already begun (depending on who you ask). The days (or at least the daylight) are getting shorter, and it will definitely get wetter and colder.

As a friendly reminder, I would like to share with you my top three safety tips for bicycle travel to and from school.


Lights, lights and lights!

With the darker mornings and afternoons, it is especially important your child is visible on the road.
Check if the bicycle lights on your family's bikes are still working well. Often bicycles (mostly those with a box on the front) come equipped with lights, but they are not always positioned correctly. Lights are only effective when other people can see them clearly.


Try adding reflectors on the wheels. Anything that ensures that other people and drivers on the road see your child contributes to their safety.
In the colder months, particularly in the mornings, car windows are often frozen or a bit foggy, and drivers don't always take the time to make their windows completely clean (just a small window is sufficient). Anything that catches the light, like reflectors or reflective tape, will ensure that your child is more visible

Reflective Clothing Outdoors

You can increase visibility by wearing reflective clothing. This is an ongoing argument with my kids, who quickly point out that safety vests are not fashionable. Safety needs to be prioritised over style on the road.
In the Netherlands, we can experience four seasons in a single day. Make sure that your child has protective clothes that can be layered depending on how the weather changes throughout the day. A lightweight rain jacket (preferably with reflective strips or made with reflective material) that they can layer on when needed, will keep them dry, protected and visible.
I vividly remember the purple/green raincoat I had growing up that was just hideous. Only after the fifth rain ambush did I learn to treasure that thing and appreciate it.

Last weekend I did a check on my kids’ bicycles and protective outdoor wear. I found that both of them were missing their front lights. Apparently, they  disappear just like my left socks do in the washing machine.

The final result? We replaced two front lights, put fresh batteries in their backlights and installed three reflectors. The discussion about safety vests and rain wear is still ongoing, but I’m not giving up.

Road safety is especially important when the leaves begin to fall, and the road can get slippery.

I wish everyone a happy and safe autumn!

BSN Character Profile's Ms Courage Riding a bicycle
BSN Head of Security Charles Broers

Charles Broers

Hello! I’m Charles Broers, Head of Security and Data Protection at The British School in The Netherlands (BSN). I joined the BSN in June 2017, bringing my more than 25 years of experience in the world of safety and security.
My professional career began in the military, where safety and security are not taken for granted. I spent more than 15 years working for an international hotel chain, providing a safe environment for all guests, from grandma and grandpa on a weekend trip to the Head of State, royalty, artists and many more.
Before joining the BSN, I worked in operational security and risk management for nine years at Europol (European police).
I feel fortunate to be part of the BSN community, and I am proud of the important role that my team and I play in creating a safe and secure environment where our students can learn and thrive.

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