EMERGENCY PROCEDURES In the event of an emergency, it is important that all staff are familiar with the procedure for calling an ambulance or other emergency service to school. Each school should have named staff who are responsible for carrying out emergency procedures and there should be clear, written emergency procedures which staff know how to implement. Guidance on calling an ambulance/emergency services is provided on form AM6. Copies of the Emergency Procedure should be displayed in all classrooms, the staffroom, gymnasium, and other service areas, and should include guidance for calling an ambulance and name(s) of key staff with responsibility for emergencies. If a pupil requires immediate medical attention, the school must make every effort to contact the child's parents. A member of staff should accompany the child if the parents are not available and should stay with the child until his/her parent arrives. Occasionally, it may be necessary for the child to be taken to hospital by car. If this is the case, a second adult must accompany child in case of deterioration of the child's condition during transit. The vehicle used to transport the child to hospital must have appropriate insurance cover (i.e. business use/public liability vehicle insurance). Forward planning is essential for efficient management in emergency situations and it is good practice for the headteacher to ask for a member of staff to volunteer to act as a driver in such cases and any expenses incurred with regard to vehicle insurance should be met by the school. If time allows, the teacher accompanying the pupil to hospital should take with them any relevant documentation, for example: the Individual Health Care Plan (if the pupil has one) and/or a copy of the Consent for Emergency Treatment signed by the child's parent. However, even if the pupil does not have any such documentation, it is considered important for the teacher accompanying the child, to relay any relevant information to the doctor which concerns known beliefs or feelings the child's family has, especially regarding specific treatment, practices or procedures. Further information on Consent is supplied in Section 5. SUMMARY 1. All staff must be familiar with the procedure for calling an ambulance or other emergency services to school. 2. The school should have named staff who are responsible for carrying out emergency procedures. 3. The school must clear emergency procedures which staff know how to implement. 4. Copies of the emergency procedures should be displayed in all classrooms and other service areas. 5. Every effort must be made to contact the parents of a pupil requiring immediate medical attention. 6. Where the parents are not available, a member of staff should accompany the pupil and remain with the pupil until the parents arrive. 7. If it is necessary to take a pupil to hospital by car, then a second adult must accompany the child. 8. If time allows, copies of the pupils’ IHP (if they have one) and a copy of the Consent for Emergency Treatment should be taken to the hospital by the member of staff accompanying the pupil. CRISIS MANAGEMENT (From: RoSPA, 1997) The Stages of Crisis Management At all stages, good communication is vital to the successful management of any crisis. Pre-incident Management: Be Prepared Carry out risk assessments of activities in as many areas of school life as possible. This does not have to be an onerous task and could be usefully carried out on staff development days. Once hazards have been identified, good management is about controlling the risks and reducing the potential for harm. Schools must assume that, at some time, there will be a crisis that needs to be dealt with. In such events, staff and pupils should know where to find help. All emergency control actions, not just fire drills, should be practised regularly (for example: an accident involving school transport; an armed intruder on the school premises). Roles should be set out in advance, so that if the unthinkable happens, everyone knows exactly what they are expected to do. Incident Management Uncertainty leads to rumour and counter rumour. When a crisis occurs, the first task is to gather as much information as possible and to relay it to the senior management team who will then need to control the flow and exchange of information with all other relevant people on and off site. Tell the truth simply and without fabrication. Once the news is out, the school is likely to be inundated with enquiries. 1. Gather information. 2. Inform the Director of Education and all relevant persons (staff, governors, parents, pupils). 3. Deal with enquiries by the media by referring them directly to the Gwynedd Education Press Officer (01286 679003). Post Crisis Management Never underestimate the traumatic effects of a major crisis on people's lives. Never try to forget that it happened or ignore it. Anniversaries serve as reminders whether we like it or not. There may still be funerals to attend, legal processes to get through and people to support. The first task, once the immediate crisis is over, is to restore some sense of security to the school and in the lives of all those affected. Debrief the staff (this could be done by a professional outsider). Stick to normal school routines as far as possible. Set up support systems for children and staff who will need to talk about and share their feelings. This might include counselling services and specialist treatment for those at the heart of the crises. Monitor the situation on a regular basis. Watch for ‘survivor guilt’ and look particularly for major changes in behaviour which may suggest PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Very young children may show regressive and anti-social behaviour. Do mark anniversaries. The media will! What Schools Need To Do Forward planning can help schools cope better with a major crisis and deal with its aftermath. Schools should: 1. identify available support agencies and other people who can help 2. develop a written Crisis Management Plan 3. clarify the roles and responsibilities of all personnel 4. ensure key personnel are trained to handle roles and responsibilities. Consider Doing the Following 1. Carry out a full risk assessment for your school. This is a requirement under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992. 2. Where hazards are identified take appropriate professional advice to minimise risk and protect the health and safety of pupils, staff and other persons. 3. Establish evacuation procedures, do not assume that all exit routes will remain open. 4. Designate one room as an incident centre. Ideally this room should have telephone and fax communication and should be big enough for its emergency role. 5. Establish roles and responsibilities for staff. 6. The headteacher, should be responsible for co-ordinating emergency assistance. This does not mean dialling 999, it does mean liaison with the emergency services once they arrive. 7. A different member of staff should deal with pupils and staff on site, making decisions about whether teaching can continue, keeping staff informed and generally attempting to keep disruption to a minimum. 8. One member of staff should deal with those directly affected. This would involve responsibility for compiling details of an casualties. Information is crucial. In any incident the first question is going to be ‘Who was involved?’. 9. Any teacher outside the school boundaries with a group must leave all essential information with the school. For residential trips that information needs to be home with a senior member of staff. 10. The Director of Education is responsible for communication with the media via the press officer and should have received some training in that role. The responsibility of communicating with the media remains with the Director of Education even when the crisis occurs abroad. 11. Ensure staff with key roles, and their alternatives, are trained to handle their responsibilities and are given opportunities to practise roles and procedures through simulated activities. Schools developing a whole school approach to health and safety, (who have already thought seriously about sensitive issues such as birth, death, bullying, violence etc), are more likely to respond positively to a crisis and be able to cope with its aftermath than schools who adopt the ‘ostrich’ approach and ignore difficult issues. Those Most Likely to be Affected by a Crisis 1. Those whose lives were at the greatest risk. 2. Those who witness death and carnage (violent act or accident). 3. Children from unstable homes. 4. Less able children. 5. Very young children. They will continue to re-live the event until they have enough maturity to understand and cope with it. SUMMARY 1. In order to minimise the potential problems caused by a crisis, schools should always be prepared for the unexpected by carrying out regular risk assessments and dealing with any identified risks. 2. Fire drills and emergency control actions should be carried out regularly, a minimum of once per term. 3. School staff should be designated to take on specific roles in advance, therefore if a crisis arises, each member of staff is aware of his/her role. Training should be made available for staff so that they are able to handle their roles and responsibilities and opportunities provided for staff to practice in simulated activities/role play. 4. A room should be designated as an 'incident room’. The room should have a telephone and fax machine. 5. Good communication is vital to the successful management of any crisis. 6. In the event of a crisis, staff should gather as much information as possible, relay this to the senior school management who, in turn, should inform the Area Education Office and all other relevant persons (staff, governors, parents and pupils). 7. Any enquiries by the media should be referred directly to the Gwynedd Press Officer. 8. Following a crisis, staff should be debriefed and support/counselling facilities should be provided. ___________SCHOOL EMERGENCY PROCEDURE POLICY (DRAFT) 1. It is the responsibility of the headteacher to ensure that all staff are aware of the school’s Emergency Procedures and how to implement them if the need arises. 2. Copies of the Emergency Procedures must be displayed in all classrooms, the gymnasium, staff room and all other service areas. 3. It is the responsibility of the headteacher to ensure that risk assessments are performed in accordance with the county’s Risk Assessment package for schools. 4. An emergency evacuation drill will be carried out once every term. 5. It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that, if any emergency exits are found to be obstructed, that they report this to the headteacher immediately. 6. In the event of an evacuation of the school buildings being necessary, the mustering point is the lower playground. 7. In the event that a pupil or member of staff requires immediate medical attention, the emergency procedures for calling an ambulance should be followed. 8. In the event that it is considered best to take the injured/ill person to hospital directly, then the school minibus should be used as it has the appropriate insurance cover. If the school minibus is not available, then the deputy headteacher’s car should be used as this has the appropriate insurance cover. 9. In the event of a major incident, the secretary’s office will be designated as the incident room. 10. In the event of a major incident, any queries by the media will be forwarded directly to the Gwynedd Press Officer. 11. Following any traumatic incident, the school will provide appropriate counselling facilities. This Policy has been accepted by the School Governing Body and implemented on: ………./………./………. (date) (For review in two years time) Signed: ________________________________ (Chairperson) RISK ASSESSMENT A risk assessment is a systematic examination of all aspects of the work, to consider what could cause injury or harm, what precautions or protective measures are in place to prevent this, and whether these are satisfactory in principle and in practice. The purpose of a Risk Assessment is to help employers, or persons in control of the work, to identify the hazards their work creates and evaluate the risks associated with these hazards so as to determine what measures they should take to protect the health and safety of their staff and others with due regard to Statutory Obligations. The assessment must be appropriate to the nature of the work and comprehensive enough that it remains valid for a reasonable period of time. An assessment must consider the likelihood of the hazard and also the number of people affected by the hazard. The assessment should include any risk to the health and safety of people who are not in your employment but who are affected by your activities. A ‘hazard’ means anything that can cause harm (e.g. chemicals, electricity, working from ladders etc.). A ‘risk’ is the chance, great or small, that someone will be harmed by the hazard. When a risk assessment is carried out, a risk rating is performed for each area assessed. A risk rating is a series of ‘marks’ which are scored against the criteria of the risk assessment sheet. From the scores achieved, priority for action can be calculated, - this means that the higher the score, the more urgent the action to remedy the problem/potential problem. Risk Rating Likelihood of Occurrence Hazard Severity High = 3 High = 3 Medium = 2 Medium = 2 Low = 1 Low = 1 Risk assessment need not be an arduous task and it is suggested that schools adopt the following guidelines: the five steps to risk assessment: 1. look for the hazards 2. decide who might be harmed, and how 3. evaluate the risks arising from the hazards and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or more should be done 4. recording your findings 5. review your assessment from time to time and revise it if necessary. The County's Health and Safety Department have produced a comprehensive Risk Assessment package which covers all aspects of risk assessment in schools. With regard to Medical Needs in Schools, the following sections are particularly relevant: B.5 C.2 D.4 E.2 E.3 SUMMARY 1. Risk assessments are performed to help identify hazards and any risks associated with those hazards. 2. The assessment must be appropriate to the nature of the work/environment. 3. The assessment must be comprehensive enough to remain valid for a reasonable amount of time. 4. A 'hazard' is anything that can cause harm. 5. A 'risk' is the chance that someone will be harmed by the hazard. 6. When a risk assessment is performed, a series of 'marks' are scored against specific criteria for each area assessed. 7. To ensure thorough and adequate assessment, schools are urged to utilize the Risk Assessment package developed by the county’s Health and Safety Department.