Department of Education

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PoliciesSafety and welfareSchool safety and security ‹ Emergency and Critical Incident Management
Application: Mandatory
Effective: 29 November 2011

Emergency and Critical Incident Management


4 Procedures

4.3 Response

The Regional Executive Director will facilitate appropriate support to a school experiencing an emergency or critical incident, including but not limited to:

  • assistance with the selection of the Incident Controller;
  • adoption of the role of Incident Controller if appropriate;
  • provision of regional education office school psychologist and Coordinator Regional Operations support as required;
  • assistance with inter-agency liaison as required; and
  • notification or possible request for support from Central Office.

The Incident Controller will respond to a particular emergency or critical incident in accordance with the actions outlined in the Emergency and Critical Incident Management Plan.

As well as tailoring the nature and level of responses to the emergency or critical incident, the Incident Controller must also modify the responses as the situation changes and must recognise the varying needs of students and staff.

Guidelines

See Section 9 – 'Response to Specific Emergencies' of the Emergency and Critical Incident Management Plan template, available from the Policies website at www.det.wa.edu.au/policies).

The selection of the Incident Controller for each incident should be based on a consideration of the:

  • complexity of issues to be managed; and
  • expertise required.

Schools and regional education offices are encouraged to work closely with emergency service agencies and provide support where required, particularly in the use of school facilities during times of natural disaster such as fire, cyclone and flooding. Emergency services may require school premises to be used as shelters and disaster coordination points.

The Incident Controller should consult with their regional education office or Regional Executive Director on security related matters, including potential use of security guards on school sites.

The Department provides support services (for example, Coordinators Regional Operations and School Psychologists) to enable principals or site managers to respond appropriately.

All Department employees should be mindful of their responsibility for confidentiality of information related to emergencies and critical incidents.

Following an emergency or critical incident, the principal or site manager will act promptly to:

  • contact WA Police if the particular incident warrants it;
  • contact a parent or guardian of any student who has been harmed or threatened with harm;
  • report any emergency and critical incident to their Regional Executive Director;
  • liaise with their Regional Executive Director and/or the Department's Media Unit for:
    • informing students and staff about any potential danger;
    • preparing communications for parents and the wider school community about any potential danger; and
    • media related matters;
  • submit an entry using the Online Incident Notification System, as soon as is reasonably possible.
Guidelines
Incidents requiring contact with WA Police include, among other things, attempted abductions of children and approaches to children by strangers. In these situations, it is imperative that parents are contacted as soon as a child reports the incident to the school. If there is a potential danger from a situation or a person, parents and the wider school community should be informed promptly.

Notifiable incidents should be recorded in the Online Incident Notification System. A notifiable incident is an event, actual or imminent, which occurs on or off site and involves anti-social or criminal behaviour, an accident, a case of notifiable disease, death or natural disaster. Incidents endanger, or threaten to endanger, life, health and wellbeing, property or the school environment. Notifiable incidents may include events that occur outside of school hours and off-site but directly impact on the health and wellbeing of students and/or staff.

4.3.1 Evacuation

The principal or site manager will:

  • plan for both on-site and off-site evacuation as part of the Emergency and Critical Incident Management Plan;
  • immediately report any evacuation to their Regional Executive Director; and
  • liaise with their Regional Executive Directorand the Department's Media Unit for media related matters and when preparing communications for parents following an evacuation.

Guidelines

For more information on preparing media communications, see the Media Liaison Guidelines available from the Our Policies website at www.det.wa.edu.au/policies.

A Hazard Management Agency can recommend or mandate an evacuation from the school site or a stay on the school site. This would be done in collaboration with the principal or site manager.

4.3.2 Closure

The principal or site manager will notify the Regional Executive Director immediately after any order is made to temporarily close all or a particular part of the school's premises.

Guidelines

School closure may only be done by the principal, site manager or the Department's Head of Security in certain circumstances. More information about this is provided in Appendix C.

A Hazard Management Agency, based on weather forecasts, can recommend to the Department that a school not open for the day. The principal or site manager should consult with the Regional Executive Director in any such action.

Powers which enable the closure of educational facilities during a public health emergency are exercised in consultation with the State Emergency Coordination Group, Ministers, the Director General, Department of Education and relevant bodies.

4.3.3 Lockdown

The principal or site manager will:

  • plan for lockdown as one aspect of the Emergency and Critical Incident Management Plan;
  • initiate lockdown based on an assessment of risks to students and staff;
  • make the decision to initiate lockdown informed by advice from other agencies (for example, WA Police or the Fire and Emergency Services Authority), the regional education office or other information available at the site;
  • immediately report any lockdown to their Regional Executive Director;
  • liaise with their Regional Executive Director and the Department’s Media Unit for media related matters and when preparing communications for parents following a lockdown; and
  • maintain records and documentation associated with a lockdown.

Guidelines

The Emergency and Critical Incident Management Plan template available from the Policies website at www.det.wa.edu.au/policies provides suggested checklist actions for school lockdown.


Emergency and Critical Incident Management
http://det.wa.edu.au/policies/detcms/policy-planning-and-accountability/policies-framework/policies/emergency-and-critical-incident-management.en?bbp.9.policyID=15522043&selected=3&bbp.10.pane=3&bbp.i=d0.b.1.2.1&g11n.enc=UTF-8

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