Contingency Plan for Crisis in School

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Stage 1.  Identification of Potential Crisis

• Death of student or teacher
• Violence or serious assault
• Death or injury on college outing
• Road, sea or air accident involving students or staff
• Destruction or vandalism of part of the college

Stage 2.  Choosing suitable support agencies and personnel

The list of contacts and telephone numbers attached as per appendix will be worthwhile should a crisis arise.  It is important to make personal contact with specialist services so that you have an established working relationship and won’t be starting from scratch in a time of crisis.

Stage 3.  Action plan and responsibilities apportioned within the college

• Obtain factual and reliable information at start of crisis
• Senior management i.e. principal, deputy principal, meet with relevant personnel i.e.   safety officer, first aid personnel, counselor, chaplain,  sports officer and person   designated to liaise with family
• The pastoral team will meet to coordinate events

Contact families

• immediately, to offer sympathy and practical support
• consultation with them regarding appropriate support from college
• evaluate family circumstances

Staff meeting regarding the following issues

• suspension of normal timetable
• method of informing families
• facts of situation
• family situation and proposals for college response
• preparation of staff for student briefing
• instruction on what staff say outside the college so as not to divulge the specifics of the   situation
• be aware of any teachers who may be particularly distressed e.g. those recently   bereaved

Student briefing

• who – class/year/whole college
• by whom – class tutor/director
• what information; be sensitive to the bereaved’s family, anticipate student questions   and responses, strongly discourage students from spreading rumours and explain the   consequences of doing this

Media management

• designate a spokesperson
• prepare a brief statement; expressing the college’s grief, outlining the actions being   taken to meet the needs of the students
• protect the family’s privacy
• prohibit staff/students from talking to media


Support for staff/students

• ensure that counselling services are available
• students at risk; close friends, peer group, relatives, neighbours
• staff needs including management


The College Community

• recognising the importance of the college as a community
• grieving as a community
• ceremony/silence/assembly/prayer


Participation in funeral rite

• designated person to liaise with family to extend sympathy and clarify families wishes   regarding colleges involvement in funeral/memorial service
• involvement of students/staff if agreed by family
• appropriate representation at funeral service
• request a decision from Principal and Board of Management re college closure

Medium term tasks

• providing long-term counselling
• disposing of deceased student’s possessions
• close monitoring of students

Medium/long-term tasks

• facilitating the return of deceased siblings to college
• keeping in contact with family of deceased
• being aware of certain occasions such as, months mind, anniversaries, Christmas
• ensure new staff are aware of colleges policies and procedures and ensure they are   aware of which students were affected and in which way
• review of overall college response



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