Civil emergencies in London in the last few years, possible worldwide medical pandemics and the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 require schools to ensure that suitable procedures are in place to respond to emergencies.
An event – or events – usually sudden, which involve experiencing significant personal distress, to a level which potentially overwhelms normal responses and procedures and which is likely to have emotional and organisational consequences.
The Headteacher or nominated representative has the delegated power and responsibility to determine the appropriate course of action in the event of an emergency. This includes the decision to close the school or not.
Where necessary, a School Emergency Team will be called upon to help to manage the emergency. This will include any member of the senior management team that is on site (the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher, Assistant Head/SENCO, Head of Early Years and School Business Manager) together with the Premises Manager. Other members of staff may be called upon to be part of this team according to their availability and skills.
Of course, making the decision to close the school and informing parents, the Local Authority and the Chair of Governors of the decision and making sure that all children have been collected safely may be all that is required in some emergencies e.g. severe weather conditions, a flu pandemic etc. In these situations, staff should continue to come into school where possible (where transport is affected, all reasonable efforts should be made to find alternatives), unless ill, caring for dependants or authorised to work elsewhere.
The following plan is to use as guidance during a full scale emergency. This Emergency Plan consists of three stages as listed below:
STAGE 1 – Term Time during school hours.
STAGE 1 – Outside Term Time or outside of school hours
STAGE 2 – After immediate actions have been completed
STAGE 3 – Ongoing actions
All staff, especially those nominated staff on the emergency team, must familiarise themselves with this action plan.
All members of the Senior Management Team will have a copy of this Emergency Management Plan at home as well as in school. In addition, each will hold an up to date staff and pupil list with emergency contact details. This will be updated each September and February by the school admin team.
Notification of an emergency may come from:
This plan can be activated by the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher or in their absence another member of the SMT, together with the Premises Manager and School Business Manager.
If the incident attracts media attention, you are likely to be inundated with requests for interviews and statements. If this is the case:
Further Information and guidance can be found in the Islington Council Emergency Plan folder located in the Headteacher’s office and also the school’s Lock-Down procedures.