Critical Incident Policy
This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on the 5th of February 2019 and is due for review in February 2020.
This Policy is drawn up in order to make every attempt possible to provide clear and assistive guidance to staff in the event of a critical incident. Every crisis situation demands a different response and requires the intervention of different staff, agencies and personnel.
A critical incident is any event that seriously effects the members of our school community. The following list, although not exhaustive, delineates the kinds of incidents that may be categorized as critical incidents:
- Family Bereavement
- Death, serious illness or serious accident involving a member of the school community
- Suicide of a member of the school community
- Serious damage to the school building through fire, flood and vandalism
- Serious emergency on the school premises
- Serious violence or the threat of serious violence to a member of the school community either within or outside of the school
- Serious injury or death of a student while involved in a school activity
- Intrusion into the school
- Disappearance of a member of the school community
- An accident or tragedy in the wider community
Critical Incident Management Team
To enable response effectively and quickly to any critical incident that may arise the following staff members will come together to put in place a targeted, appropriate and manageable response.
- The Principal
- The Assistant Principal
- The school Counsellor
- The Home School Liaison Officer
Where appropriate other members of staff may be called upon to join the team.
Confidentiality and the privacy of anyone involved in the situation will be of paramount importance at all times.
What to do when you hear the news.
When a critical incident occurs, where necessary and appropriate, it should be reported to the Senior Management of the school. Where there is immediate danger to the life of a member of the school community it may be necessary to call one or other of the emergency services in the first instance and then seek further advice from Management.
Before taking any action it is imperative that the school and the management team has 'the full story'. Gather all the facts, this may involve contacting other agencies or people in the community when and where appropriate.
Senior Management convene a meeting of the Critical Incident Team and any other staff member as appropriate.
Once the facts have been established an appropriate plan of action should be agreed. This may involve:
- Informing staff and students
- Contacting parents
- Visiting families
- Organising cover in the school
- Liaising with partners in the community eg.
- Medical Centre, St Andrews Resource Centre, Community guards, Priest
- Liaising with Support Groups
- Agreeing a factual and sensitive statement with regard to the crisis
- Assigning roles to staff members
- Appointing staff to deal with the media
- Organising the timetable to minimise disruption to the learning of other students while empathising with the whole community
The school must be aware at all times of the importance of respecting the right to privacy of all people and members of the community that may become involved in a critical incident.
Where the school becomes involved in a critical incident, the wishes and views of any families or victims involved should take precedence.
The school wishes to ensure all our students, parents and partners that in the event of a critical incident, the school always has and always will endeavour to help out and support whenever we can.