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MANAGING CRITICAL INCIDENTS – DOES YOUR PLAN MENTIONS WHISTLES?

In the courses we ran for IAPS and the Society of Heads during 2021, we helped newly appointed Heads and aspiring deputy Heads consider how to prepare their school for a sudden traumatic event.

In these professional development sessions, we took the participants away from their inherited plans and instead, focused on the need to have a clear pathway that is easy to articulate and to understand, before trying to write a plan.

Then and only then; capture the core activity that must happen in an outline plan of between 12 – 15 pages, using the “keep it simple” principle.

Next, we considered how to go to the wider senior leadership in the school and explain your pathway to them and what their role is. In this session, we used the emergency services’ gold-silver-bronze hierarchy as a framework to use when explaining how to get co-ordinated activity going in chaotic environments.

But theory only gets you so far, and so we then used scenarios to rehearse putting their plans into action, which helps to understand all the multiple little things that blow them off course.

To anchor their plans, we explained the value of investing in a lockdown (or shelter-in) capability - this appears to be what the whistles were for (NB - please make use of schools’ IT network for this).

So, no matter where you are starting from, you can prepare for the worst by following these four key steps:

  1. Have a plan based on a clear critical incident pathway

  2. Make sure people understand their role in the plan

  3. Have a lockdown contingency

  4. Practice

If you need help capturing the above and keeping it simple, contact us.



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