In line with Kent County Council advice we have developed a Lockdown Procedure to protect the children from any potential harm. This procedure is an internal process to prevent external intrusion into the school, and should there be intrusion into the school to protect the children from harm. Parents should not be affected, but the guidance below should direct parent actions if they become aware of the situation. (the internal Lockdown Procedure will not be published to keep resilience).
Reasons for lockdown to be triggered
Lockdown procedures may be activated in response to any number of situations, but some of the more typical might be:
- A reported incident / civil disturbance in the local community (with the potential to pose a risk to staff and pupils in the school).
- An intruder on the school site (with the potential to pose a risk to staff and pupils).
- A warning being received regarding a risk locally, of air pollution (smoke plume, gas cloud, etc).
- A major fire in the vicinity of the school.
- The close proximity of a dangerous dog or other animal roaming loose.
Communication between parents and the school in Lockdown
In the event of an actual lockdown, any incident or development will be communicated to parents as soon as is practicable. Parents should be given enough information about what will happen so that they: are reassured that the school understands their concern for their child’s welfare, and that it is doing everything possible to ensure his/her safety.
If parents become aware of an incident they should not contact the school. Calling the school could tie up telephone lines that are needed for contacting emergency providers. Parents should not come to the school, they could interfere with emergency provider’s access to the school and may even put themselves and others in danger. Wait for the school to contact them about when it is safe for you to come get their children, and this will be on the school website.
If parents are told “The school is in a full lockdown situation”. During this period the switchboard and entrances will be un-manned, external doors locked and nobody allowed in or out…’
Emergency Services - It is important to keep lines of communication open with Emergency Services as they are best placed to offer advice as a situation unfolds. The school site may or may not be cordoned off by Emergency Services depending on the severity of the incident that has triggered the Lockdown. Emergency Services will support the decision of the Headteacher with regarding the timing of communication to parents.
In the event of a prolonged lockdown or more severe scenario, Kent County Council has the capacity to provide humanitarian assistance by establishing a Reception Centre for friend and family outside of the cordoned area.