Critical Incident Policy for St. Patrick’s NS
In St. Patrick’s NS we aim to protect the well being of all members in our school community by providing a safe, caring and learning environment which nurtures the full educational potential of each child. We have taken a number of measures to create a supportive and caring environment in our school and we have formulated a number of policies and procedures to be followed with a view to ensuring the safety of staff and pupils.
Our Critical incident policy follows the guidelines for schools available in the following publications;
The BOM through consultation with the Principal, the Staff and the Parents Association has formulated this critical policy. Copies of this policy will be disseminated to staff, the Board of Management and the Parent’s Association. A copy will also be made available in the school Office.
This policy was formulated with all stakeholders in 2010 and reviewed by staff, the PA committee and the Board of Management in 2013 and again in 2015.
What is a Critical Incident?
‘A critical incident is any incident or sequence of events which overwhelms the normal coping mechanism of the school and disrupts the running of the school’ (NEPS/DES 2008). Critical Incidents may involve one or more pupils, staff, the school or the local community and may include;
The key to manage a critical incident is planning and St. Patrick’s NS has formulated the Critical Incident Management policy and accompanying plan. The aim is that in the event of an incident, these will help staff to act quickly and effectively and to maintain a sense of control.
Critical Incidents Management Team:
The first-named person has the responsibility as defined.
The second-named person assists and only assumes responsibility on the absence of the first-named.
Roles and Responsibilities
BOM Health & Safety Representative
Contact Numbers & Emergency Information
There will be two lists kept on file.
To ensure contactability of Text a Parent service during a Critical Incident or Evacuation, the BOM and Staff Health & Safety Officers have access codes. Our neighbouring school, Our Lady of the Wayside also has the access code for this service.
The evacuation procedures are displayed near the door of every classroom. The emergency evacuation procedure will be practised once per term using the fire alarm. All visitors and parents must evacuate the building on the sound of the fire alarm, whether it is a practise drill or emergency manoeuvre.
Red Card System
Every classroom has a Red Card to be used for an Emergency within a classroom. Pupils are trained early in September should an emergency occur (such as a teacher fainting, a child taking seriously ill, a violent, abusive or intoxicated individual entering the classroom) a pupil takes the card to teacher next door. This teacher will respond immediately to the emergency. The child proceeds with the same card to the Office so that the Principal is informed immediately and can come to assist the situation. The Staff H&S Officer has responsibility to ensure each year that every class has a red card attached to front door of room and one on desk.
Training & Staff Development
The school will provide opportunities for staff and members of the Board of Management to attend information /training meetings on issues such as suicide, grieving and first aid. The school will use the resources of NEPS as an advisor in planning for, and as a support facility after any incident A rotating schedule for First aid will be established.
Visitors, including parents must report to the Office, identify themselves and state their business in the school. Visitors will not be allowed beyond the Secretary’s Office except at the invitation of a member of staff.
After Schools Activities
In the event of a situation occurring after school, the same short term actions outlined below should be followed, including the following;
Members of the media must report to the Secretary’s Office, identify themselves and state their business in the school. Members of the media will not be allowed beyond the Secretary’s Office except at the invitation of the Principal or Deputy Principal. Members of the media may be asked to remain outside school property if this in any hinders the management of a critical incident.
*Only the Leader will speak to the media unless directed otherwise by the Critical Incident Management Team
Procedures to be followed in the event of a Critical Incident
SHORT-TERM ACTIONS (Day 1)
As far as possible, maintain normal school routine. In serious cases of intruder or abduction, neighbouring schools will be informed.
Media Briefing (if appropriate)
MEDIUM-TERM ACTIONS (24-72 HOURS)
LONGER TERM ACTIONS
If over a prolonged period of time, a student continues to display the following, he/she may need assistance and/or long term counselling from the HSE. Constant communication with family is essential.
Monitoring, Review and Evaluation
This policy was drawn up in 2010. It was reviewed in 2013 by the staff, the Parent’s Association Committee and the Board of Management.
The Critical Incident Policy Committee will review the policy every 3 years or on formation of a new Board of Management. Ongoing review and evaluation will take cognisance of changing information, legislation and feedback from parents/guardians, staff and pupils. The policy will be revised as necessary in the light of such review and evaluation and within the framework of school planning.
Ratified by the Board of Management of St. Patrick’s NS
Reviewed: January 2013 (see Appendix 2)
Review date: January 2016
Chairperson of BOM Date
Preventative measures through the curriculum
Preventative measures through the Physical Environment
Code of Behaviour
Child Protection training for Staff
Staff concerns (bereaved pupils, self-harming, eating disorders, home difficulties)
Emergency Evacuation Drills
Health & Safety Policy
First Aid training
Code of Behaviour
Access to school
Responding to Critical Incident: Resource Materials for Schools http://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/Educational-Psychologist-NEPS-/neps_critical_incidents_resource_material_schools.pdf
School Chaplain – Fr. Andrew O Sullivan
HSE Social Workers (if appropriate)
DES Employee Assistance Service
DES – NEPS www.education.ie
Health and Safety Authority www.hsa.ie
Allianz (Church and General ) www.allianz.ie
The 2015 review identified the following key issues;
The 2013 review identified the following key issues;
Critical Incident Folder Contents Review to include:
See Sample letter templates attached