School emergency-management plan
The purpose of an emergency-management plan is firstly to allow consideration
of various types of emergency and about how the school is placed to
deal with them, and secondly to give the school community confidence
when faced with a crisis.
When thinking about your plan, talk to your local authority. All local
authorities must have emergency plans which link in to a national strategy
for dealing with crises, and which include all the emergency services.
Ideally, a school’s plan will fit into the local authority’s
plan. Your school may already be part of the local county plan –
for example, it might be used as a place of refuge in times of emergency.
When developing the school emergency-management plan:
- Recognise that a climate of support and trust among staff will
strengthen the school’s response at a time of crisis
- Devote a staff meeting or part of a staff-development session to
the plan. This should happen in the initial stages and again once
the plan is complete. Consider the need for staff to be trained in
- Identify key school staff. Experience has shown that identifying
a group of teachers prepared to assume emergency roles and assist
in leading the response is particularly valuable
- Recognise the importance of the need for support and of identifying
ways of obtaining it. In addition to assistance from their LEAs (where
applicable), schools will need to develop links with other agencies
(for example the fire brigade)
- You could also think of ways in which the national curriculum provides
learning experiences for pupils about loss, change and bereavement
Once the plan is operational it is advisable to nominate a member of staff to regularly review and update its details.
To facilitate quick and effective action in the event of an incident, the following measures are recommended:
- At school
- Once the plan has been drawn up, consider how and where it will
be kept and who should have access to details of the plan and
of emergency contact information.
- Nominated administrative staff should be able to access personnel
files on the school computer system.
- Up to date lists of contact telephone numbers and addresses
should be held centrally, both on computer and in readily accessible
folders. These may include contact details of members of staff
who have specific functions within the plan, as well as of pupils'
- At home
- An incident may happen out of school hours. It is good practice
for the head teacher (together with a nominated person or persons)
to have a copy of the most up to date version of the school emergency-management
plan and home telephone list at home.
- Nominate a person (either a governor or member of staff) who
can be called upon to assist in responding to the media.
- Instruct all other staff not to give interviews or comment on
any written or printed material. Make it clear that no such material
should be handed out to the media.
- Make sure that staff know that in the early stages of an incident
(until the arrival of the LEA’s press and PR support), they
should direct any media requests to the head teacher or their