Lockdown procedures should be seen as a sensible and proportionate response to any external or internal incident which has the potential to pose a threat to the safety of staff and pupils in the school. Procedures should aim to minimise disruption to the learning environment whilst ensuring the safety of all pupils and staff.
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/animal roaming loose
In the event of an actual lockdown, any incident or development will be communicated to parents as soon as is practicable. Parents will be given enough information about what will happen so that the :
- Are reassured that the school understand their concern for their child’s welfare, and that it is doing everything possible to ensure his/her safety
- Do not need to contact the school. Calling the school could tie up telephone lines that are needed for contacting emergency providers
- Do 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 and collect their children, and where this will be from.
Parents will be told
“ …the school is in a full lockdown situation. During this period the phones and entrances will be un-manned, external doors locked and nobody allowed in or out…”
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 sever scenario, Cumbria County Council has the capacity to provide humanitarian assistance by establishing a Reception Centre for family and friends outside of the cordoned area.