Developing a School Emergency Response Plan Guidance for Governors and Head-teachers


Lancashire County Council @0 2
 

 

 

 

 

 

First Edition August 2008

Developing a School Emergency Plan

Foreword……………………………………………………………………………………………………………3

1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………  4
2 Aims……………………………………………………………………………………………………………4
3 Types of Emergency / Critical Incident………………………………………………………………5
4 Creating and Maintaining a School Emergency Plan…………………………………………..6
5 Roles and Responsibilities………………………………………………………………………………6
6 Identifying individuals who may be vulnerable……………………………………………………8
7 School Support Services…………………………………………………………………………………9
8 Incident Administration………………………………………………………………………………….11
9 Training………………………………………………………………………………………………………12
10 Health and Safety…………………………………………………………………………………………12
11 School Emergency Pack……………………………………………………………………………….12
12 Evacuation Procedures…………………………………………………………………………………13
13 Calling Emergency Services………………………………………………………………………….14
14 Media Handling……………………………………………………………………………………………14
15 Communications………………………………………………………………………………………….16
16 Post incident and Recovery…………………………………………………………………………..18
17 Reporting to Governors and Others………………………………………………………………..18
18 Dealing with a death in school……………………………………………………………………….19
Appendix A. Lancashire County Council Contacts………………………………………………20
Appendix B. Pupil presumed deceased (Residential Schools)………………………………21
Appendix C. Pupil presumed deceased (Day Schools)………………………………………..23

SCHOOL EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN

Foreword
I am pleased to introduce this guidance for the management of emergencies within schools. The range of activities undertaken by schools is huge, and as the range of activities grows the greater the need to plan for an emergency. A planned response will better prepare schools for the challenges an emergency places on them.

This document provides guidance for Governors and Head-teachers who have a responsibility to plan for potentially serious incidents. It offers advice on what to include in a school emergency plan which should guide the actions of those responsible if an emergency occurs. The general advice applies to all schools but Aided Schools, and other categories of schools will need to adapt some sections to match their needs and legal status. Similarly special schools and other educational settings will need to make additional arrangements to reflect the needs of the school and its pupils. It assumes that Lancashire County Council guidelines and standards are being applied, and that data protection requirements are met.

This document has been produced by the County Council’s Emergency Planning Service in partnership with the Directorate for Children and Young People. The County Council wishes to support schools in preparing for and responding effectively to an emergency. This guidance will help schools meet their duties of care in respect of pupils and staff. I commend it to you.
Helen Denton


Executive Director for Children and Young People

________________________

Further information and advice on any elements contained within this guidance can be obtained from:
Lancashire Emergency Planning Service

Red Rose Hub

Preston

PR2 5PZ.
Tel: 01772 537902

Email : emergencyplanning@lancashire.gov.uk

1. Introduction

It is the responsibility of each school governing body to have in place a plan for responding to an emergency or critical incident which affects their school community. It is also their responsibility to keep such plans up to date and to ensure that the relevant people are aware of its existence and its implications for them.
Over the past few years there has been increasing concern within schools about critical or traumatic incidents, which have affected individual children or members of staff and the school community in general.

Such events can have a profound impact upon the whole school community, not just those directly affected, and the impact can last for a considerable time. Whilst schools and Lancashire County Council have a record of responding well to such events, it is important that information and guidance is available to help schools prepare for such incidents and to deal with them effectively.

2. Aims The aims of this guidance are to
♦ Create an awareness of the need to have planned arrangements in place.

♦ Provide re-assurance of the practical help that is available from Lancashire County Council and other agencies, at short notice;

♦ Highlight the need for each school to develop robust emergency response arrangements;

♦ Provide guidance for governors and staff to prepare, develop and update their School Emergency Plan; and

♦ Give guidance on other sources of information, help and support.

♦ Ensure that all actions taken in response to an emergency are recorded and are available for subsequent scrutiny should they be needed.
In responding to an incident the aim should always be to ensure :

♦ Rapid and appropriate action is taken to safeguard the health and wellbeing of pupils, staff and others and to protect property and equipment;

♦ The continued safety of pupils, staff and visitors to the school;

♦ Accurate information is provided;

♦ Normal school routines are maintained as far as possible, giving continuity to the education of the pupils;

♦ Immediate, sensitive and non-intrusive support is offered; and

♦ Liaison with the appropriate agencies.

3. Types of Emergency / Critical Incident

The word “emergency” may often be used interchangeably with that of “incident” or “disaster”. It is important to consider the type of emergencies or incidents that may arise.

Examples include :

In School :

♦ A deliberate act of violence, such as the use of a knife or firearm on either a member of staff or a pupil.

♦ A school fire or laboratory explosion.

♦ The destruction or serious vandalism of part of the school.

♦ Public health threats (e.g. Pandemic Influenza). [Interesting how they can presume the works of nature within all these documents which all focus on Flu Pandemic]

♦ The loss of water or heating.

Outside School :

♦ The death of a pupil or member of staff.

♦ A transport related accident involving pupils and/or members of staff.
♦ An incident which affects access/egress for the school.

♦ A more widespread emergency in the community, for example, the release of hazardous substances, severe weather, etc.

♦ Death or injuries on educational visits.

♦ Civil disturbances and terrorism.

Not all these incidents will require a full scale response. However, plans must not overlook the long-term effects and wider consequence management issues that can arise during or following on from an incident.
The School emergency Plan should link to the good practice and procedures currently in place for (a)Educational visits – see
https://lccsecure.lancashire.gov.uk/education/data/edintact/

(b)Unavoidable School Closures – see http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/education/pdf/pid1078/full_document.pdf

There are also statutory reporting requirements that must be completed. Dependent upon the nature of the emergency, this may require schools to notify the Health and Safety Executive on
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/edis1.pdf

Further advice can be found on: http://www.hse.gov.uk/services/education/information.htm

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Developing a School Emergency Plan

4. Creating and Maintaining a School Emergency Plan

The governing body and senior managers should ensure that a school emergency plan is in place and that it reflects good practice. Plans should be drawn up in consultation with governors and school staff.

A model “School Emergency Plan” is available on the Schools’ Portal. This is based upon the DfES exemplar plan available on Teachernet :
http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/emergencies/planning/index.html

Schools should note that in support of the aims of the School Emergency Plan there are existing procedures in place in respect of educational visits (see
https://lccsecure.lancashire.gov.uk/education/data/edintact/ and Unavoidable School Closures
http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/education/pdf/pid1078/full_document.pdf

Schools are strongly urged to follow these and to integrate them within the School Emergency Plan.
Similarly aided schools are asked to work in close liaison with their respective Diocesan/Church Authorities in drawing up their plans. This will help ensure School Plans reflect the full range of guidance and support available to them and their pupils. [I exposed some years ago now the fact that Blackburn Cathedral is controlled by the Golden Dawn, and exposed the deceptive workings at St Johns Church Accrington],

Where a plan is already established, Governors and the Senior Management Team should review and update the plan on a regular basis and ensure the plan is included within a cycle of monitoring and evaluation. Test the plan by using a range of scenarios; this will improve the knowledge of staff and pupils.

Schools may wish to identify a Governor or senior member of staff to take responsibility for the creation and development of the school’s emergency plan.

Schools should ensure that the plan and contact information are accessible during and out of school hours, both on and off the school site.

Governors and staff should be involved in the development of the Emergency Plan and all school staff should be aware of the plan and how it is initiated. This information should be included as part of the induction process for new staff. By running practice exercises, both staff and pupils will better understand the plan and the actions to be taken.

5. Roles and Responsibilities
The school should identify an Incident Manager (usually the Head Teacher) who will have the responsibility for calling together an Incident Response Team as quickly as possible, without compromising the safety of pupils (if during school hours).

The size, role and responsibilities of the school’s Response Team will vary according to the nature and circumstances of the incident. It is the school’s responsibility to determine the appropriate level of response for an incident and to select the necessary roles to achieve this.

It is important that the names and roles of those forming the Incident Response Team are circulated to all members of staff to minimise confusion and risk of duplicating tasks. It is also important that members of the Incident Response Team are aware of their responsibilities and have been appropriately trained. Details of membership and roles within the team should be updated whenever staff leave the school.

It is essential that all decisions made and action taken in response to an emergency are logged and a full record is maintained for any possible future scrutiny or enquiry (for example, by Governors, Police or the Coroner). [No mention of the most important people left out of this command chain…the parents]
Schools may consider issuing action cards to relevant staff that can be used as an aide memoire in the event that they are asked to undertake their nominated emergency response role.

If the incident response looks likely to continue for a number of days it will be necessary to consider the support of supply staff to help continue daily routines whilst some members of staff are engaged in the school’s response. It is also important to monitor the welfare of those involved in handling the emergency. This can be a stressful time and maintaining emotional health and welfare is essential. Consideration should be given to rostering staff, where possible.
Suggested roles and responsibilities for the school’s Incident Response Team :

Role

Responsibility

Possible Candidates

Incident Manager

• Consider the need to alert other colleagues and external agencies.

• Establish an Incident Response Team.

• Collate all relevant information relating to the emergency.

• Co-ordinate the emergency response strategy for the school, liaising with relevant services, LCC and school governors as appropriate.

• Monitor the emergency response.

• Provide regular staff / team briefings.

Authorise any additional expenditure.

Head Teacher

Deputy Head Teacher

Chair of Governors

Senior Staff Member

Deputy Incident Manager

 Assists Incident Manager.

• Co-ordinates and manages staff in the Incident Response Team.

• Monitors staff welfare and organises staff roster.
Deputy Head Teacher

Vice Chair of Governors

Senior Staff Member

Parent Liaison Officer
• Advises parents and provides information.

• Provides point of contact.
Senior Staff Member

School Governor

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Developing a School Emergency Plan


Role Responsibility Possible Candidates

• Arranges on-site co-ordination of visiting parents.

• Maintains regular contact with parents where appropriate. Administrators
• Operate telephone lines.

• Help collate information.

• Relay incoming and outgoing messages.

• Provide admin support to the Incident Manager and Deputy.

• Maintain a master log of key events and decisions.


School Secretary

Bursar

Support Staff

Communications Officer


• Acts as point of contact for media enquiries.

• Works with the County Council’s communications team to prepare media statements.

• Assist with internal communications.

Senior Staff Member

School Governor

Pupil Welfare
• Maintain supervision.
• Ensure the safety and security of pupils.

• Provide information and offer reassurance.
• Monitor pupils physical and emotional welfare.
Teaching Staff

6. Identifying individuals who may be vulnerable

Whilst developing school emergency plans and generating an appropriate response it is important to be able to identify those individuals whom may be particularly vulnerable. Vulnerability can be assessed using the following criteria and degree of concern :

♦Those directly involved in the incident.

♦Siblings/relations.

♦Close friendships.

♦Any perceived culpability/responsibility.

♦Those displaying emotional distress.

♦Those with previous bereavement/trauma.

♦Culture and/or language issues.

♦Pupils who become withdrawn.

♦Pupils displaying very different behaviour to normal.

[This determination of vulnerable people is very open ended, and gives massive state powers over all who are thus labelled vulnerable, very open ended very sinister, and it crops up time and time again in all these contingency documents]

When developing communication strategies it will be important to understand the needs and requirements of certain individuals or groups of people and how their needs would be best addressed.

7. School Support Services

A fundamental principle of ‘Integrated Emergency Management’ is that the emergency services, local authority, health, voluntary organisations and other partner responders work together to deal with an emergency that threatens the community.

The school may require the support and advice of some or all of the following services following a crisis. The role of these services is to support the efforts of governors and staff and to enable schools to carry out their day-to-day functions in extraordinary circumstances. The Governing Body and Headteacher retain legal responsibility for what happens to children in the school, and therefore also retain the right to decide who has access to children whilst they are in the school. [The schools are basically at the mercy of advisors, most coming out of such hellish companies as Capita Symonds, very corporate, very Crown controlled, and in control of most of our democratic system]

Detailed below are some of the services available to support educational establishments in the event of an emergency. Contact details are given at Appendix A.

Emergency Services

The main focus of the Emergency Services (Police, Fire, Ambulance) is the initial response to an incident and to protect life and property. The Emergency Services will aim to contain the incident and prevent further spread / escalation and they will also aim to minimise the damage to the wider environment.


Lancashire County Council Emergency Contact Service

The County Council provide a range of emergency contact services, schools are asked to initially contact the Directorate for Children and Young People, Committee and Office Services Team. The Directorate duty officer can advise on action the school and County Council may need to take and will act as a link between the school, emergency response services and other County Council services. [We have insight into how this pans out from the October Peel Park shutdown of the school….with the children inside and the parents on the outside]

LCC Educational Psychology Service – Critical Incident Support Team


As part of the response to an emergency, psychological support is available to combat the effects of trauma which may result from an unexpected distressing event.

The Educational Psychology Service has developed a team composed of Educational Psychologists and a Special Educational Needs (SEN) officer, who are trained to respond to requests for support from schools and other educational settings which experience a critical incident which overwhelms normal coping mechanisms within the school/setting. They of course fail to mention the real mindset of the psychology brigade, allow me :
Psychiatrists And Professors Are Lobbying To Normalise And Decriminalise Pedophilia ]


The Critical Incident Support Team (CIST) can work closely with Senior Management Teams following an incident helping schools/settings to develop their response to what has happened. It is important that, following an incident, the group of most vulnerable children, young people and adults are identified and their needs assessed. The support offered is decided upon following close discussion and liaison with Senior Management and other key members of staff


The aim of the team is to help staff in their task of supporting children and young people during times of great stress. Support from an informed and familiar person during these times is invaluable, especially as it is available on a day to day basis. Sometimes however, it is felt that more specialist support is needed either on an individual or group basis. The CIST can offer this and will advise when they feel this is necessary. Parents are always involved in discussions regarding such work when children and young people are involved. [Look at how compartmentalised this doctrine is, there are so many different operations which the school has to take orders, it beggars belief, it is under this sort of strategy that the secret society networks are formed, it prevents all from seeing the bigger picture, it allows for untoward behaviour by the same without the rest of the persons involved from becoming aware of the facts]

Support from the CIST is offered on four levels :
Level 1 : When advice and guidance can be given by telephone.
Level 2 : This follows a request for support from a school and where it is felt that a visit to a school is necessary in order to provide support to Senior Management and staff. Support at this level could involve discussion with Senior Management in the school as to how the incident might best be handled and could also result in attendance of CIST at staff meetings in order to help co-ordinate the school response to a critical incident.

Level 3 : This is provided if the CIST members involved feel it is necessary to work with groups of staff and children most affected by the incident. Team members are trained and experienced in conducting psychological debriefing sessions, which is a specialised and very structured process designed to reduce stress and the negative effects of a critical incident.

Level 4 : This support focuses upon ongoing needs of staff and pupils once CIST involvement reduces. Advice at this level ensures that Senior Management and parents are aware of those with ongoing needs and planning is conducted to help schools/settings secure appropriate support.

It is important to note that the CIST never approach a school/setting to offer support. A request for involvement must come from the school itself. It is also necessary to emphasise that parental consent is always needed if the team is asked (or feel it is necessary) to work with pupils directly. Further

information can be found on
https://schoolsportal.lancsngfl.ac.uk/sp_atoz/dirServices.asp?u_id=2314&strSL=C

[Note parents are excluded from most of the links and thus the information, secrets reveal deception, deception aimed directly at the parents who pay for all this]

LCC Emergency Planning Service

The role of the Lancashire County Council Emergency Planning Service is to prepare for, and if necessary, respond to major emergencies that may affect the people or the environment of Lancashire. The Emergency Planning Service is responsible for the production, maintenance and development of plans for an integrated response to a major emergency and the County Council’s Business Continuity Plans. This involves working closely with the emergency services, other County Council departments, other local authorities, voluntary agencies and industry to ensure that any response to an emergency is carefully managed to ensure a return to normality as quickly as possible. Further information on Emergency Planning Services can be found on :
http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/corporate/web/view.asp?siteid=3009&pageid=6415&e=e

Diocesan/Church Authorities and Faith Communities

Schools have a range of links with Diocesan/Church authorities and faith communities who can assist in a crisis. Aided schools should keep their respective Church Authority informed of a major incident and may then draw upon the support and advice that the Authority can provide. Schools with no faith community links need to be aware that Ministers may self-present in the event of an incident to offer their support.

Schools with links to church authorities and faith communities should consider designating the Foundation Minister, or representative, as the co-ordinating Minister in their plans. The co-ordinating Minister should be consulted during the drafting of the school emergency response plan to establish the support available.
The Minister may be able to assist with :

♦ Liaison with Ministers from the home communities of pupils and staff,

♦ Liaison with Ministers of other denominations or faiths,

♦ Support from others trained in pastoral care and CRB (criminal records bureau) cleared to work with children and vulnerable adults,

♦ Advice and assistance with commemoration or memorial services, on or off school premises.
A closer look at the Blackburn Diocese

8. Incident Administration

In the event of an emergency good administrative and back-up systems assist effective management and ensure a fast response. Practical measures should include :


♦ A list of all pupils and staff, with next of kin contact details and a list of special medical needs for both pupils and staff should be drawn up and regularly updated. This should be held centrally at the school (both on computer and hard copy), with back up discs and additional hard copy away from school. (This is confidential information and should be kept in a secure place.) [Thereby giving out personal information about the victim to all and sundry, ask yourself this question…will these corporate operations delete the information after? Bollocks they will]

♦ Registers should be completed promptly at the beginning of each morning and afternoon session. Names of pupils who are late or leave school early should be recorded.
♦ A list of staff present and absent.

♦ An inventory of equipment should be held on site and a second copy retained at an alternative site. The inventory should be regularly updated.
♦ An effective signing in and out procedure for all visitors and volunteers in school.

♦ Emergency procedures for all areas of the school site.

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Developing a School Emergency Plan

9. Training

School staff experience many pressures and demands on their time. However, engagement with staff in the drawing up of the emergency plan and staff training on the prevention, management and response to incidents will raise their awareness and understanding of these issues and what to do. Regular reminders and updates serve to keep issues live and enhance the sensitivity of staff to preventative measures. Training in how to deal with aggression, the school’s security procedures, health and safety, risk assessment and how to cultivate a sense of self-awareness could all be considered. [And of course this is how they are trained, Peel Park shutdown drill]

10. Health and Safety

All whole school policies should incorporate school health and safety procedures and how these relate to the teaching and organisation of the subject. This is particularly pertinent for physical education activities, technological and practical work, science and outdoor education.
All schools have clear guidelines and advice on testing and maintenance of equipment, fixtures and fittings. All electrical, PE and fire fighting equipment should be regularly inspected and tested.
Regulations are published for the storage and security of potentially hazardous substances and chemicals.
Regular health and safety checks on the buildings and site should be conducted, with any potential dangers reported and dealt with. Schools should follow the guidance provided by Lancashire County Council.

There are statutory duties on schools relating to the recording of incidents and, where appropriate, notification of the Health and Safety Executive, see
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/edis1.pdf  
http://www.hse.gov.uk/services/education/index.htm

[Corporate Health and Safety in Lancashire is the responsibility of Capita Symonds, a huge corporation dictating to all our elected councillors and MP’s, it is nasty, it is deceptive. Also note  the person responsible for Lancashire Health & Safety is Lesley Carr. I need to double check this but if this woman is related to Jim Carr, the Preston Chief Executive, a man who was commended by the pseudo charity Common Purpose for bringing one third of the Preston Council into the clutches of Common Purpose, then we can see we are basically controlled by un – elected bodies dictating to our supposed representatives, this must be understood by all and acted upon with great vigour]

11. School Emergency Pack

Schools may find it useful to prepare a School Emergency Pack which contains essential information and/or equipment in case of emergency. This should be kept in a secure place but accessible to a number of school staff. Suggested contents are given in the following table :

Developing a School Emergency Plan School Emergency Pack Suggested contents :

1.Copy of School Emergency Plan.

2.Emergency Services Contact telephone list.

3.List of all pupils (names, addresses, medical details, emergency contacts).

4.Staff list (names, addresses, medical details, emergency contacts).

5.Plans of the school.

6.Visitors’ badges.

7.Mobile telephone and charger.
8.Torch (with batteries removed).

9.Spare batteries.

10.Wind-up radio.

11.First Aid Kit.


12.Stationery (pens, paper, card, markers, etc).
Information relating to the contact details and requirements for Educational Visits can be found in the Educational Visits Policy and Guidelines (Forms 9 & 10)
https://lccsecure.lancashire.gov.uk/education/data/edintact/

12. Evacuation Procedures

It is important to devise and practise an evacuation plan, which should :

♦Identify several evacuation routes and assembly points (taking into account the needs of disabled staff and pupils), including a ‘safe haven’ assembly point at least 500 metres from the school.

♦Limit the use of corridors, stairways, exits and walkways during an emergency.

♦Consider the possibility that evacuation could be from inside to outside or vice versa.

♦Consider that partial evacuation may be sufficient in some cases (for example if the school is made up of separate blocks).

♦Include a head-count of all staff, pupils and visitors to the school following an evacuation.

♦Include arrangements for contacting parents to let them know where their children have been evacuated to and that they are safe.

♦Consider collaborative arrangements with other local schools. (eg you name them as your safe haven and they name your school in theirs).


13. Calling Emergency Services

Calling the emergency services : dial 999
On dialling you will be asked which service you need (e.g. police, ambulance or fire service) and put through to the appropriate control officer. Ask for the ambulance service if there are casualties. If more than one service is needed the control officer can pass on messages for other services.
The control officer will need the following information :

♦Your telephone number.

♦The exact location of the incident e.g. the road name and any important details about approaching and accessing the school site.

♦The type and seriousness of the incident.

♦Details of any further hazards e.g. gas leak.
Above all else it is essential to stay calm on the telephone and speak in a clear and precise manner.

14. Media Handling

An emergency plan should include arrangements for dealing with media interest. Members of the school community may feel pressured into giving interviews or making statements to the press, and it is important to have procedures set down in the school’s emergency plan and to stick to them. Recent years have seen a rapid advance in telecommunications and information technology capabilities. The media will hear about an incident almost as soon as the emergency services, and will be on the scene and/or telephone very shortly afterwards.

Journalists do not go away and if they don’t get the facts from you they will get them from another, possibly less reliable, source. Not speaking to a journalist does not mean the story will not be reported, it means that you will not be able to give your understanding of events. Procedures may include, for example :


♦ Identifying staff or governors to deal with the media, and giving them training in media handling.


♦ Planning to use a particular phone number for media enquiries, and letting the local press know in advance what this will be (remember, local radio in particular can help keep the public informed about what is happening and you may want to discuss this with your local station when you are formulating your plan). Schools should contact the County Council Media team as soon as is practical following an incident (tel: 01772 532781). The County Council’s team are experts in handling the media. They will be able to advise schools and will take the job of keeping the media informed while you get on with the business of managing the school, alerting parents and briefing governors and staff.
In the event of a major incident the police will take some actions immediately :

♦ Control access to the site to allow rescue services and investigations to carry out their work unhindered.


♦ Establish a media liaison point – this is a designated point at the scene, preferably outside the outer cordon, for the reception of media personnel. It may be little more than a rendezvous point to start with, but quickly can grow into a major media facility as national and international reporters turn up with crews and trucks (depending on the scale and nature of the incident).

♦ Dispatch a media liaison officer – the swift attendance at the scene of a media contact (likely to be from the police) should ease the pressure from the media. Failure to arrange this will prompt media representatives to approach anybody available, which could lend credibility to inaccurate sources.

♦ Access assistance from the Government News Network – they can supply experienced press officers at any time (at no cost for the first 24hrs) who will arrange with their own communications facilities and technical support equipment.

Do’s and Don’ts for Media Handling :
♦ Don’t say “no comment” or any variation on that theme. It immediately implies that you have something to hide.

♦ Don’t get over confident and start saying things that you might regret later.

♦ Don’t speak “off the record”.

♦ Don’t speculate.

♦ Do give a holding statement if you genuinely do not have enough information to comment.

♦ Do prepare a written statement, email or fax out to the media on request. It can buy you time before you answer the more detailed questions or can be useful if the issue is sensitive and you don’t trust reporters to accurately report your comments. [So this secretive behaviour is how they serve the community…bollocks with a capital B]

PERSONNEL WHO HAVE NOT BEEN SO NOMINATED SHOULD NOT SPEAK TO THE MEDIA
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15. Communications
Following an incident within a school or other educational setting good communication will be the key to successfully managing the situation. Having procedures in place will help to reassure all involved. Making contact with those involved and communicating effectively will depend on the contact information being available and accurate. Contact information for parents, pupils and other agencies should be checked regularly. When drawing up an emergency management plan consider how you are going to communicate with the following :
♦ Governors

♦ Parents

♦ Pupils directly affected by the incident

♦ Pupils indirectly affected by the incident

♦ External agencies

♦ Local Community

♦ Local Authority

Access to Telephones and Computers
In the majority of cases schools will continue to have access to telephones and computers within the school. However, there may be times when the whole or part of the school is not available. Consideration needs to be given to using alternative facilities, eg a neighbouring school or at the nominated ‘safe haven’, or to using personal mobile telephones for outgoing calls. In an emergency it is common for the school’s telephone number to be overloaded with calls from parents. It is therefore helpful to identify other landlines to be used in an emergency. It is also helpful to have a mobile number available for key contacts only who may need to keep in touch with the school during the emergency, eg Police, LCC.

Communicating with Parents
Schools/settings should have parents’ contact details in case they need to be contacted in an emergency. These should include home, work and mobile numbers. Once your plan is complete inform parents of the communication arrangements within the plan. This will give them the confidence that they will be contacted by the school if an emergency does happen. This may also help encourage them to let the school know if their contact details change. Giving parents such confidence may also help discourage them from inundating the school with calls if they hear of an incident by other channels.
Wherever possible, the parents of all the other children at the school should be informed that the school has experienced an incident and that their child may be upset and may need emotional support. It is difficult to give specific advice because of the many different ways an incident may occur, but there are some general pointers that will ensure information is passed on effectively and sensitively :

♦ Select several staff members who are willing and prepared to respond, with support, to an emotionally draining and difficult task.
♦ Make the calls as soon as possible; misinformation will spread informally very quickly.

♦ Brief those who are selected to make contact, perhaps by writing a framework script and rehearsing the message first.

♦ Start with a clear list of who needs to be called and who does not. Keep records of who has been contacted successfully.

♦ Give clear information and advice about what they should do (e.g. whether they are to follow their normal collection routine or collect their child immediately, or whether the school will be closed for a time).

♦ Warn parents if there seems to be a lot of media interest: journalists may try to get interviews. Advise them to contact the school if they are approached.

♦ Offer help with the arrangement of transport, if necessary and feasible.

♦ Check that the parents or children are not left alone in distress, perhaps suggesting that the person seeks support from relatives or neighbours.

♦ Offer useful phone numbers for support or for more information (eg the emergency helpline number or the hospital number).

Informing pupils following an incident
To manage the impact of an incident on the pupils it is important that communication links are established as soon as any hard facts are known. Pupils should be told simply and truthfully what has happened, in small groups if possible with extra adults available to support. In some circumstances, it may be unavoidable to bring pupils together as a whole school. Where this is the arrangement, ensure that pupils have an opportunity to ask questions and talk through what they have been told in smaller groups afterwards.

Key points to consider when developing communications to pupils following an incident are :
♦ Begin by preparing the pupils for some very difficult/sad news.

♦ Taking account of children’s needs and backgrounds, give simple, factual information using language and concepts appropriate to the age of the children.

♦ Avoid using euphemisms, be clear and unambiguous in your messages.

♦ Pass on facts only, do not speculate on causes or consequences.

♦ If questions cannot be answered this should be acknowledged.

♦ Address and deal with rumours.

♦ Try to give expression to the emotions that individuals may be experiencing (e.g. shock/disbelief, etc) and explain that strong and difficult feelings are a normal part of the process of coming to terms with this sort of experience. (this can be adults as well as children).
♦ Do not refrain from referring to the deceased by name, perhaps highlighting some positive aspect(s) of their lives.

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A practical example of communication to pupils :
“I’ve got some very sad news to tell you today that might upset you. There is a serious illness called meningitis. Sometimes people with meningitis get better but sometimes, although relatively rarely, people die from it. Some you will have known that Jane Smith in Year 4 was suddenly taken ill last week. I have to tell you that Jane died in hospital yesterday.

Like me, many of you will find it hard to believe that this has happened. It is obviously a very big shock for us all. Jane was such a happy girl who got on well with everybody. We will all miss her.
It is important for you to know that strong and perhaps difficult feelings are part of the normal process of coping with this sort of situation. It will help to talk about what has happened and about your thoughts and feelings. Please do take the opportunity to talk to your family, friends, teachers and adults in the school. This is likely to be a difficult time for us all as a school community and we should try to support each other. Please come and talk with me if you have any questions or if you just want to talk.”

16. Post incident and Recovery
The effective management of an incident involves providing support after the event as well as during the initial response phase. This recovery timeline will vary and will focus on individual need for continuing support. When the initial response is completed a structured debrief will provide an opportunity for everyone involved to review their actions, thus identifying what went well along with areas for improvement. Pupils, parents and staff should also be given additional opportunity to talk through their experiences either as a group or on an individual basis
It may be useful to consider the following timescales :

♦ At the time of the incident.

♦ Within the first 24-72 hours.

♦ Within the first month.

♦ In the longer term.

17. Reporting to Governors and Others
A report on an emergency incident and the response by the school should be given to the Governing Body and, where appropriate, to the Diocesan/Church Authority as soon as possible. The use of incident log sheets will be invaluable in gaining an accurate picture of how the emergency arose/developed and who did what in response. There may also be a need to report to the Health and Safety Executive. This is also a useful opportunity to ensure compliance with Health and Safety reporting requirements.

18. Dealing with a death in school
The death of a child is always a terrible thing. The impact of a child’s death is often felt very widely and can affect many people including the extended family, school friends and their families, carers and teachers. Death is a subject that nobody feels comfortable addressing. It is almost inevitable though, that at some point the school community will be affected by a death in some way or another. This might include the death of a pupil, the death of a staff member, the death of a pupil’s family member, or the death of a key member in the school community such as a governor or popular visitor to the school.

Sometimes a natural reaction to death is not to talk about it. Assumptions are made that the bereaved person will not want to talk about it and people fear that mentioning it may upset them. Most children will at some point be glad to have the chance to talk about what has happened.
Below are some simple tips for speaking to young people about death :

♦ Be honest.

♦ Use clear language.

♦ Expect questions.

♦ Recognise that every death and every reaction to it is unique.

♦ Don’t assume anything.

♦ Allow time and space for pupils to digest the news.

♦ Act early to prevent rumours from spreading.

♦ Try to normalise the feelings that a bereaved young person shares with you.

♦ Acknowledge that some days will be better than others.

To try and support schools in responding to the death of a child in the school/setting Lancashire County Council have developed procedures to be followed in the case of a pupil presumed deceased on site. There are two sets of procedures (see attached Appendices B and C).

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Appendix A.
Lancashire County Council Contacts
Emergency Contacts for Major Incidents (24 Hrs Cover)
Committee and Office Services (COS) Team Emergency Contact Number
COS Team Manager 07887 830854
COS Central Team 07771 663498
North Team 07767 253947
(Lancaster, Wyre and Fylde)
South Team 07771 663501
(Preston, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Chorley)
East Team 07771 848643
(Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale)
Note : Although the COS Team Officers are based in central/area teams, any of the above numbers can be used to report an incident.
Others Contacts
Education Psychology Service Lesley Carr
(Critical Incident Support Team) CIST Coordinator
Tel: 01254 220575
Email: Lesley.carr@ed.lancscc.gov.uk
Health and Safety Email: health.safety@lancashire.gov.uk
(HR Consultancy) Tel: 01772 535355 (Office Hours)
Tel: 07917053326 (Out of Office Hours)
Directorate for Children & Young People Andrew Swain
Communications Team Communications Manager
Tel: 01772 532781
Email: andy.swain@ed.lancscc.gov.uk

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Appendix B
Pupil presumed deceased (Residential Schools)
Procedures to follow in the case of a pupil presumed deceased on site
(Residential Schools)

The following procedures are recommended for use in residential schools in the event that a pupil is presumed deceased on the school site.
Please also check that any action taken is in line with the recommendations contained in any Health Care Plan which may have been prepared for the pupil in question.


1. The senior member of Local Authority staff on duty should request police and ambulance presence immediately via a 999 call.

2. Inform the Head Teacher/Deputy Head Teacher of the circumstances. The Head Teacher/Deputy Head Teacher should aim to be at the school as quickly as possible if they are not already on site.
3. Do not attempt to move the pupil presumed deceased to another location.

4. Remove all other pupils away from the area as quickly as possible.

5. Ensure that the pupil presumed deceased is supervised until the arrival of the emergency services.

6. The pupil’s parents must be informed of the circumstances in person. The police will usually take the lead in contacting parents and arrangements should be made for an appropriate member of staff from the school (usually the Head Teacher) to accompany the police on this visit. If the police wish to remove any items from the school, including items of paperwork, a receipt should be obtained.
7. Once the death has been confirmed contact should be made with a local undertaker so that the body can be removed to a chapel of rest.
8. Inform the following as soon as possible:
(a) Chair of school’s Governing Body
(b) Executive Director for Children and Young People (01772 531316)
(c) Health and Safety Team (01772 531862)
(d) The school’s General Practitioner

9. School staff and pupils should be verbally informed at a time deemed appropriate by the Head Teacher/Deputy Head Teacher.
10. Any press or media enquiries should be directed to the Directorate for Children and Young People Communications Team at County Hall in the first instance (01772 532781).
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11. A full report on the circumstances of the pupil’s death should be prepared by the Head Teacher and forwarded to the Executive Director for Children and Young People.
12. Subject to agreement with the deceased pupil’s parents a letter briefly outlining the situation should be sent to the parents of other pupils on the school roll.
13. As a matter of urgency all records concerning the deceased pupil should be retrieved and the pupil’s name deleted from the school roll in order that future correspondence is not inadvertently sent to the pupil’s home address. Any formal transport arrangements should be cancelled immediately.

14. A full report on the circumstances of the pupil’s death should be presented to the next meeting of the school’s Governing Body.
Please Note
♦ At all times senior staff should respond with dignity and sensitivity to the situation whilst giving their attention to the continued smooth running of the school in what can be difficult circumstances.

♦ Members of staff who are employed by other agencies (eg school nurses, therapists) should note that the responsibility for carrying out these procedures rests with senior staff who are employed by the Local Authority.

♦ The Council has available a Critical Incident Support Team (CIST) which can give advice and support to schools experiencing a traumatic incident affecting pupils and/or staff.

♦ Contact for advice, support, or just an informal discussion should be made in the first instance with CIST (01254 220575).

♦ If the pupil is from a particular faith background the school may wish to involve a minister of religion at any appropriate stage in these procedures.

♦ If the school considers a full or partial closure on the day of the pupil’s funeral, please refer to the Authority’s “Guidelines on Unavoidable Closures”.
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Appendix C
Pupil presumed deceased (Day Schools)


Procedures to follow in the case of a pupil presumed deceased on site (Day Schools)

The following procedures are recommended for use in day school provision in the event that a pupil is presumed deceased on the school site. Please also check that any action taken is in line with the recommendations contained in any Health Care Plan which may have been prepared for the pupil in question.

1. Request police and ambulance presence immediately via a 999 call.


2. Inform the Head Teacher/Deputy Head Teacher/Teacher-in-Charge of the circumstances. The Head Teacher/Deputy Head Teacher/Teacher-in-Charge should aim to be at the school/unit as quickly as possible if they are not already on site.

3. Do not attempt to move the pupil presumed deceased to another location.

4. Remove all other pupils away from the area as quickly as possible.

5. Ensure that the pupil presumed deceased is supervised until the arrival of the emergency services.

6. The emergency services would normally remove the body from the school site in order to have the death confirmed by hospital/based medical staff.
7. The pupil’s parents must be informed of the circumstances in person. The police will usually take the lead in contacting parents and arrangements should be made for an appropriate member of staff from the school or unit (usually the Head Teacher or Teacher-in-Charge) to accompany the police on this visit. If the police wish to remove any items from the school, including items of paperwork, a receipt should be obtained.


8. Inform the following as soon as possible :
(a) Chair of school’s Governing Body/Management Committee

(b) Executive Director for Children and Young People (01772 531316)

(c) Health and Safety Team (01772 531862)

(d) In the case of voluntary aided schools, the relevant Diocesan/Church Authority
9. School staff and pupils should be verbally informed at a time deemed appropriate by the Head Teacher/Deputy Head Teacher/Teacher-in-Charge.
10. Any press or media enquiries should be directed to the Directorate for Children and Young People Communications People Team at County Hall in the first instance (01772 532781).

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11. A full report on the circumstances of the pupil’s death should be prepared by the Head Teacher/Teacher-in-Charge and forwarded to the Executive Director for Children and Young People.
12. Subject to agreement with the deceased pupil’s parents a letter briefly outlining the situation should be sent to the parents of other pupils on the school roll.
13. As a matter of urgency all records concerning the deceased pupil should be retrieved and the pupil’s name deleted from the school roll in order that future correspondence is not inadvertently sent to the pupil’s home address. Any formal transport arrangements should be cancelled immediately.
14. A full report on the circumstances of the pupil’s death should be presented to the next meeting of the school’s Governing Body/Management Committee.


Please Note :

♦ At all times senior staff should respond with dignity and sensitivity to the situation whilst giving their attention to the continued smooth running of the school in what can be difficult circumstances.

♦ Members of staff who are employed by other agencies (eg school nurses, therapists) should note that the responsibility for carrying out these procedures rests with senior staff who are employed by the Local Authority.

♦ The Council has available a Critical Incident Support Team (CIST) which can give advice and support to schools experiencing a traumatic incident affecting pupils and/or staff.

♦ Contact for advice, support, or just an informal discussion should be made in the first instance with CIST (01254 220575).

♦ If the pupil is from a particular faith background the school may wish to involve a minister of religion at any appropriate stage in these procedures.

♦ If the school considers a full or partial closure on the day of the pupil’s funeral, please refer to the Authority’s “Guidelines on Unavoidable Closures”.


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See full document below :

011. Developing School Emergency Plan-1, Deceased students by lifeinthemix

 
Further Study
WHO Memos 1972 explains how to turn vaccines into a means of killing