Managing a Crisis in Your School

Information and Guidelines for Schools

This document was compiled by staff from the Ed...
1       Introduction

1.1     Over the past few years there has been increasing concern within schools about crises or
The consequences for a school may last for a year or more and involve the pupils, staff and

4       He...
•       Consider providing relevant fiction and non-fiction books in the school library.

•       Recognise and utilise wa...
•       A list of telephone numbers of emergency services, Local Authority support services, trained
        counsellors a...
An independent outside line is vital to ensure two way communications – Administrative
        support may be requested/of...
•       If some children remain in the location of the incident, their physical safety should be the
        priority. All...
•       Arranging for part-time attendance at first if this is considered helpful.

•       Arranging for a “sanctuary” th...
5.5     The Response: Stage Three

        The available evidence suggests that the difficulties caused by a traumatic eve...
•       Encouragement to talk and express feelings. Adults need to show their feelings and should
        not be concerned...
•       Identification of a portion of Support Service time to allow a rapid professional response
        when required.

A Sample of an “Aide Memoire”

In the event of a disaster on an excursion or trip

What follows is guidance wh...

Support available from the LA

•       Emergency contact points and on-going liaison and support from an Educa...
Murray Rose – Assistant Director (Access and Inclusion)
Tel: 01904 554203

Jenny Vickers – Assistant Director (School Impr...

Children Bereavement – Help Lines and Support Groups

The Compassionate Friends – 53 North Street, Bristol, BS...
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  1. 1. Managing a Crisis in Your School Information and Guidelines for Schools This document was compiled by staff from the Educational Social Work and Educational Psychology Team in consultation with local Headteachers, Deputy Headteachers, teaching staff and colleagues from Educational Services. The compilers of the document are indebted to Norfolk County Council for the use of their publication “Critical Incidents: Support for Schools”; and to the publication of “Wise Before the Event” by William Yule and Anne Gold (1993 Calouste-Gulbenkian Foundation). Contents Page 1 Introduction 2 2 Aims 2 3 The effects of a crisis 2 4 Helpful approaches 3 5 The Crisis Management Plan 3 6 Emotional and therapeutic support 9 7 Resource and training implications 10 8 The LA Support Framework 11 9 Appendix 1: A sample of an “Aide-Memoire” 12 10 Appendix 2: Support available from the LA 13 11 Appendix 3: Children Bereavement – Help Lines and Support 15 Groups 12 Appendix 4: List of useful reference material 15 Managing a crisis in your school Page 1 of 15
  2. 2. 1 Introduction 1.1 Over the past few years there has been increasing concern within schools about crises or traumatic incidents which have affected individual children, members of staff, or the school community in general. York schools have had to cope with several crises over the last few years. This highlights the fact that schools often have to cope with crises and a serious crisis may affect your school. Incidents have included the suicide of pupils and teachers; fires in schools; serious accidents while travelling to school or on school trips; the death of pupils, members of their immediate family or school staff. Such events can have an impact upon all at a school, not just those directly affected, and the impact can last for a considerable time. 1.2 The LA has responded to requests from individual schools for support and advice when there has been a traumatic incident. In the light of such events, some schools have also developed their own responses. 2 Aims This document is intended to assist and support headteachers and schools to prepare for and manage a crisis. The aims of this document are to: • Give York LA schools relevant information about managing a crisis. • Provide a summary of the approaches which others have found helpful. • Outline practices and procedures which might be useful in the event of a traumatic incident. • Inform staff about the LA support framework and contact points. • Provide information about the handling of press relations and media interviews, etc. • Give guidance about other sources of information and help. 3 The Effects of a Crisis The effects of a crisis or traumatic incident on a child can be wide ranging and can impinge upon his or her family, other children (particularly those close to the child or the incident, or who may be emotionally vulnerable themselves), and upon the staff at the school. 3.1 As indicated above, the potential effects of a traumatic incident upon children are significant. These might include: recurrent dreams of the event; feeling as if the event is recurring; sleep disturbance; loss of appetite, guilt about surviving, lethargy and lack of motivation/interest, feelings of detachment; exaggerated, startled response; memory impairment; difficulty in concentrating; disturbing images and memories of the event; avoidance of activities which recall the event. The reactions of the child will be influenced by his or her developmental stage, and may range from heightened separation anxiety in the very young, apparent indifference in young children, to feelings of guilt or revenge in older children. 3.2 The effects upon the school community of a traumatic event, whether occurring at the school, or involving pupils away from the school environment, can be profound, disruptive and long lasting. The immediate impact may involve shock, particularly to those who witnessed the event, disruption of the timetable, new responsibilities for staff in supporting children and informing their parents, and communication difficulties. After the event there may be continuing need to support and monitor pupils who have been affected and to support staff. Managing a crisis in your school Page 2 of 15
  3. 3. The consequences for a school may last for a year or more and involve the pupils, staff and governors. 4 Helpful Approaches Key lessons from those who have experienced such an event include the following: • School Management teams and governors need to have developed a School Crisis Management Plan in advance, which has room for flexible and creative responses, should an event occur. • The active involvement of the Headteacher in planning and co-ordinating the response is crucial. • Rapid action to inform pupils and staff sensitively and to provide immediate support to distressed children is vital. Honest communication is essential. • Pupils should be told of any tragedy simply, in small groups and with questions answered factually, by someone familiar who is able to take on such a task. • If possible, closing the school should be avoided and normal routines and timetables adhered to. This will provide some feelings of normality and security for pupils and staff. 5 The Crisis Management Plan 5.1 As previously indicated, the development of a Crisis Management Plan is of crucial importance in preparing schools to cope with any traumatic incident. The Plan will have several aims: • To ensure that swift and appropriate action is taken the moment the school is made aware that a traumatic incident has occurred. • To provide accurate information effectively to staff, pupils, parents and the LA. • To offer sensitive, non-intrusive support in the short and medium term to all those affected directly or indirectly by what has happened. • To maintain as far as possible the normal routines of school life so as to offer a secure framework of continuity to all pupils. Such a plan will address the school’s response at several levels and phases. 5.2 Preparation In order to enable actions to be taken quickly in the event of an incident, the following provisions should be made: General Measures • Recognise that a climate of support, trust and confiding will strengthen the school’s response at a time of crisis. Therefore, involve all the staff in planning. • Recognise the relevance of multi-cultural and multi-faith factors in the response. • Consider in the School Professional Development Plan the needs of staff for training in areas such as bereavement and loss. Managing a crisis in your school Page 3 of 15
  4. 4. • Consider providing relevant fiction and non-fiction books in the school library. • Recognise and utilise ways in which the National Curriculum Programmes of Study serve to help staff in providing learning experiences for pupils about loss, change and bereavement. (Refer to curriculum pack: Good Grief). Practical Measures • A list of pupils out on visits (on any day) should be held in the school office, or consult Educational Visits Manual. • A list of all pupils’ next of kin and contact telephone numbers should be held centrally both on computer and in readily accessible folders. Trip organisers should carry pupils’ phone numbers. • It would be beneficial for all adult members of an organised trip to have brief guidelines (an aide-memoire), practical measures to carry out in the event of a disaster (see sample guidelines – Appendix 1). • When trips take place during school holiday time, an easily accessible senior member of staff should hold all relevant information and phone numbers at home. A copy of a list of all staff and Governors’ contact numbers should also be kept off the premises (eg with a senior member of staff or with the Chair of Governors). • For trips abroad, a senior member of staff needs to be ready to travel in case of an emergency, with a valid date passport. • The Head, Deputy, identified senior members of staff and Chair of Governors will be responsible for a co-ordinated response in the event of an incident. These people should form the core team to have responsibility for co-ordinating the school’s response. The roles and responsibilities of all members of staff in the event of an incident should be established and clarified in advance. It should be made clear who is in overall charge. This will usually be the Headteacher although she/he may delegate this responsibility to a senior member of staff. Roles and responsibilities which will need to be allocated include the following: • Informing parents and others, maintaining a communications log. • Information and briefings – ensuring an efficient flow of accurate and up to date information. • Co-ordinating welfare support amongst pupils, staff and parents. • Liaison with incoming helpers and visitors. • Press and media liaison. • The Headteacher or a named delegated member of staff should have responsibility for communicating with the press. Such incidents are usually characterised by confusion in the early stages and are of immediate interest to the media. Only one person should talk to the press to ensure a consistent message. He or she should have made prior contact with the City of York Press Officer, telephone: 01904 551068. • Professionals within the LA Support Services should be identified who might be able to quickly provide support to very distressed pupils. Managing a crisis in your school Page 4 of 15
  5. 5. • A list of telephone numbers of emergency services, Local Authority support services, trained counsellors and relevant voluntary agencies should be held by the school manager(s). (See Appendix 2). • Secretarial assistance is vital and support in this area may be needed and staff should be trained to help them respond adequately to the enquiries of concerned and distressed parents. • The LA and its schools should have a set of pre-agreed arrangements which may be triggered in the event of a traumatic incident. This will include key LA contact officers, and will include a whole range of support services (See Appendix 3). • In order to learn from schools’ experiences, a written record of events and responses should be kept. This can be used for debriefing and to assist in a review of plans. It may be necessary to report the incident on a report from and inform the Health and Safety Adviser. (See Appendix 3). 5.3 The Response: Stage One This section refers to a situation where pupils are involved in an incident where serious injury and even death has been the outcome. It might apply to motorway accidents, aeroplane crashes, suicide and similar tragedies. General Measures • When it becomes clear that an incident has occurred, every attempt should be made to obtain accurate information. This is not always easy, as information that something has happened can spread quickly, confusion may surround the event for some hours. It is important, however, to clarify the facts as quickly as possible as inaccurate information may be damaging to children, families and the school. • Parents should be contacted by phone as soon as possible. They should be given information either by a senior member of staff, or via a telephone tree system if appropriate. They may be asked to come to the school for a full briefing by the Headteacher and senior colleagues. The decision here will depend on the nature and scale of the incident. • Siblings of pupils involved in the incident need to be identified and given the necessary consideration and support. • The school, particularly small schools, may need to enlist the help of LA officers, GPs, Clergy and the Police if there are a number of parents to be contacted and supported. • In the case of a major incident (for example, the crash of a school minibus, an aeroplane or a ship), the scale of the incident is likely to be beyond the resources available to the school. It is likely that parents will hear of the incident from other sources. In such a situation, the LA will mobilise all of its resources and would be likely to involve other Departments and Agencies. • If appropriate, emergency telephone numbers, hospital numbers, or other support agency numbers will be given to parents and arrangements will be made for informing them of developments in the situation. • It is possible that the media will have heard of the name(s) of those involved in the incident. Those name(s) should not be released nor confirmed by the school to the media until the Authorities have confirmed the identity and the parents have been informed. Even then, consideration will need to be given to how staff and other pupils should be informed. • Clearly, if a major accident occurs, the school could be inundated with phone calls from distressed parents. A record of who has called in should be kept, so that parents will not be further distressed by additional calls. Those operating the switchboard should be briefed by the senior member of staff co-ordinating the response or by the Headteacher in order to ensure that the best information available is relayed to parents. Consideration may also need to be given to keeping the switchboard manned after school hours in the immediate aftermath of a crisis. Managing a crisis in your school Page 5 of 15
  6. 6. An independent outside line is vital to ensure two way communications – Administrative support may be requested/offered to assist with managing the switchboard and logging messages. A number of practical measures may help in this situation. For example: • Schools may find it useful to have a prepared statement for dealing with telephone calls. • A local school could be approached for the use of a telephone/additional administrative support. • Mobile phones are extremely valuable. • Heads are strongly advised to work with the Local Authority Press Officer. Staff and children should seek to avoid talking to the press. Information should be released to the media through the designated Press Officer. • Every attempt should be made to discourage the interviewing of parents or pupils or staff. The right to privacy of staff, pupils and parents should be safeguarded as far as possible. • The Chair of Governors and LA officers should be informed as soon as possible. This will enable various support services to be accessed according to arrangements made for such eventualities. • There is an LA contact point so that help can be provided quickly to the school. Members of the LA support services could provide advice or materials quickly. It can sometimes be important that highly distressed children have access to counselling quickly and, again, a rapid LA response can be requested. • Small schools are at a disadvantage because they do not have many staff to draw upon, nor the flexibility to double up classes to release staff. However, the need for Headteachers to be supported is just as great if not greater. It is clearly up to the individual Headteacher to assess their own situation carefully. The senior member of staff co-ordinating the response (usually the Headteacher) should be enabled to deal with the crisis itself and nothing else. As part of a response plan, it is helpful to include arrangements for the offer of support from another Headteacher. This colleague would need to drop everything in his/her own school and go to the school to provide support advice and help with the logistical problems of dealing with a crisis. Measures for Staff • The whole staff should be informed of all the known facts of the situation at the earliest opportunity. At the same time they should be reminded of the bereavement and loss guidelines given by the LA about how to support and talk to children and the measures that are in place in the school to provide further help for very distressed children. • The management of a traumatic incident can result in a great deal of stress. It is important to stay in touch with peoples’ feelings, to monitor the emotional state of staff and to allow time and space when needed. • Recognise that some staff may not wish, or may be unable to be directly involved in supporting children because of their own experience of loss. • The burden of dealing with the incident may fall disproportionately upon a small number of staff and they may need the support of outside professionals. Managing a crisis in your school Page 6 of 15
  7. 7. • If some children remain in the location of the incident, their physical safety should be the priority. All steps necessary should be taken by staff responsible to care for them. For example, they should be kept warm, together, and staff should be as calm and reassuring as possible. • Pupils within school should be informed with simple clear information of what has happened. This should be done by class teachers in the first instance, so that in this familiar situation, they may feel able to ask questions. At this stage, facts rather than speculation should be the focus. Staff should be given written statements containing factual information. Once this has happened, children should be reunited with their parents in a manner fitting the situation. This may not be easy, and the advice of the Police should be sought about whether the parents should travel to the scene of the incident or whether the children should be taken home. Some parents may not have access to transport, and shocked staff should avoid driving. One solution might be to provide a coach to take parents to the scene or to take the children back to school. 5.4 The Response: Stage Two Following a traumatic event, it will be necessary to consider a range of other actions that may need to be taken. Measures for Children • Pupils who were involved in or witnessed the incident should be quickly identified as they may require higher levels of support. • Similarly, it is known that children who are themselves emotionally vulnerable may be particularly susceptible to adverse reactions to such events even if they were not directly involved. These children should be identified, and their reactions monitored. • It is important to be alert to changing and varied expressions of grief in children. More complicate issues may arise with children who, for example, have learning difficulties, making it harder for them to understand and come to terms with the situation. • Be sensitive about the demands that practical issues can make on pupils. (These could include worries about being able to concentrate, work deadlines causing difficulty). • At traumatic times it is important to provide as much continuity and security to children as possible. Every attempt should be made to maintain the normal school day, so as to ensure that children are unsettled as little as possible. At the same time, they should be given the opportunity to talk about their feelings if they wish to. There should also be quiet, safe places where children can go to if they wish to spend some time alone. • Some children may not be attending school after the incident and it will be necessary to assist their return to school to meet their individual needs as far as possible. The school could consider such arrangements as: • Negotiating a date for return with parents. • Arranging with parents for a visit by the class/form teacher to a child’s home; it may be necessary for school staff to receive support and advice from an appropriately trained professional before making a visit under these circumstances. • Briefing children who may be able to help in the process of resettling. This is likely to be children in the same form group. Managing a crisis in your school Page 7 of 15
  8. 8. • Arranging for part-time attendance at first if this is considered helpful. • Arranging for a “sanctuary” that a child could go to if upset during the school day. • Making sure that all staff who teach the child are aware of the need for sensitivity in relation to missed work and the possible need to reschedule projects. • Checking whether special arrangements with examination boards will be needed. • It might be useful to talk to children about what is a normal stress reaction and to give them guidance about measures to alleviate the stress response. For example: progressive muscle relaxation, breathing control, positive imagery. Guidance on this would be offered by the LA Support Service. • Some children may require support at a level which cannot be provided in a class or small group situation. They should be brought to the attention of the group of more experienced teachers who can provide short-term counselling and support outside the normal timetable. Advice for staff taking on such a role is available from Educational Support Services. • If suitable, with parental permission, groups of children might be brought together to work with outside professionals who will help them to develop coping strategies and understand their reactions. If children do not wish to be involved in this sort of treatment, families will be contacted and advised on the kinds of help that are available to them and their children. • For vulnerable or very distressed children, immediate access to outside professionals may be appropriate. If any other children remain distressed after 6-8 weeks, referral should be made to a support agency for help. Measures for Staff • Staff closely associated with the pupils involved, especially those responsible for them at the time of the incident, should be offered opportunities for support. Many staff, however, may require some support, and Local Authority Services will be made available to those requiring specialist help. • Members of staff working directly as team members co-ordinating the school’s response should be supported and relieved depending on the length of time required to perform the task. Again, LA support staff are available to assist. General Measures • Arrangements may be made to express sympathy to the families directly affected by the incident. Injured children can be visited in hospital and other children who know them can be encouraged to send letters or cards. • Friends and teachers of pupils who have died should be encouraged to attend the funerals and memorial services (refer to bereavement and loss guidelines). • LA services should be contacted in order to activate previously agreed procedures. Professionals from the Authority could work within the school to support the work of teachers with pupils and to be available to staff who wish to consult them. • Other sources of help may be called upon at the discretion of the Headteacher. For example, local religious groups could be contacted and their representatives be invited to meet the Headteacher to discuss ways in which they might help in the school’s attempts to support all involved. Managing a crisis in your school Page 8 of 15
  9. 9. 5.5 The Response: Stage Three The available evidence suggests that the difficulties caused by a traumatic event can continue for many months or even years – the Crisis Management Plan will need to take account of this. Measures for Children • Staff should continue to monitor children informally during the months following the incident. • In large schools, Heads of Year with counselling experience will have a key role to play in helping all children to understand their feelings. In smaller schools, there may be no such help available. All staff, however, should seek to be available to children who wish to talk to them about what has happened. If they feel further professional help may be needed, they can arrange for this to be given if a child wishes it and following discussion with and the consent of parents. This will be a sensitive matter and staff will need to seek advice from Senior Management colleagues and appropriate professionals if they are unsure of how to proceed. • Some children, and perhaps staff, will need therapeutic help for a considerable time. • It may be necessary to arrange for children to say goodbye within the school and the community. • It is possible that affected individuals will experience renewed grief on the date of the incident in the years following the event. The Headteacher will need to ensure that staff are made aware that this is a time for remembrance for some and that sensitivity and support may be needed. General Measures • Discussions may need to be held with Governors, parents and staff about the desirability and the form of events such as special assemblies and memorial services. • Senior staff should evaluate the effectiveness of the measures which were introduced and to modify the action plan in the light of this evaluation. • Staff should be aware of any legal proceedings, and their implications. 6 Emotional and Therapeutic Support 6.1 All involved in a traumatic incident will need sympathetic support from those around them. Sensitivity is required in gauging when young people want to talk about their experiences, and when they would prefer to keep them to themselves, especially if they do not feel at ease with others around them. It often helps children to express their feelings about what has happened to them through mime, dance, writing, drawing or other creative art forms. Many may do this spontaneously. Young children may incorporate features of the incident into their play. Such activities can provide relief in themselves, or may be the opportunity to develop discussion either directly or indirectly. In the immediate aftermath it can be helpful to allocate time for this. The teacher needs to be aware that in doing so children may become upset, but also that such distress can help with healing. Features of support would include: • Maintenance of routines. • Flexibility and sensitivity to take account of particular needs. • A willingness by adults to listen and to make time for those who are distressed. Managing a crisis in your school Page 9 of 15
  10. 10. • Encouragement to talk and express feelings. Adults need to show their feelings and should not be concerned about children seeing them upset. It is often found that children take adult’s expressions of grief as permission to show their true feelings too. • Understanding of problems with work and relationships. • Awareness by others that post-incident enquiries and processes may significantly exacerbate the child’s distress. • Staff may also need some emotional and therapeutic support and again flexibility and sensitivity to take account of each individual’s particular needs is required. Managers should encourage individuals to talk and express feelings and if appropriate, suggest and offer access to a skilled counsellor. The support available from Education personnel and the Education Social Worker team should be made available. • Recognition of when it is important to refer for more specialist help. 6.2 Therapeutic approaches to traumatic incident and stress might include the following features: • Speedy access to a skilled counsellor or interviewer who will encourage the child to communicate his or her feelings and understanding of the event. Children should be helped to make sense of their experiences and to understand that their reactions are normal. (The absence of a skilled interviewer should not preclude encouraging the child to talk). • Bereavement counselling where appropriate, after any post traumatic stress has been addressed. • Longer term counselling may be appropriate after the initial phase. • Measures to help young people to learn from the experience. • Where a number of children have been involved, they might be counselled in groups. De- briefing sessions can be particularly helpful. • Children can be taught to recognise signs of post traumatic stress reactions such as flashbacks and sleep disturbances, and to use stress reduction techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, control of breathing and positive imagery. • Support with relationship and behavioural/learning difficulties which may be a consequence from the traumatic experience. 7 Resource and Training Implications The development of a framework for anticipating and managing the effects of a crisis in schools will need resources and training support from across the Local Authority. 7.1 Resources Necessary resources will include: • The identification of lead officers as contact points and co-ordinators of the Authority response. • Resources to enable the identification and support of a team of experienced interested professionals who could provide therapeutic support and advice to schools. Managing a crisis in your school Page 10 of 15
  11. 11. • Identification of a portion of Support Service time to allow a rapid professional response when required. • Contribution from other agencies such as the Health Service (eg Limetrees) and Community Services. • Mobile phones. • Relevant books and material resources which could be lent to schools following a crisis. It would also be in a school’s best interests if they could buy their own stock of books and curriculum materials which address the issues of bereavement and loss and enable children to develop coping strategies. (Refer to Bereavement and Loss Guidelines for useful references). 7.2 Training Training needs are likely to be at several levels, for example: • Awareness for all schools and for Governors. • Support in emergency planning. • Visits and a course for a professional support group drawn from schools and the LA. • The maintenance of expertise for a small number of City of York and other LA staff. Consideration needs to be given to how this training can be provided. Some needs may be met by using existing expertise for training others. Some through relevant literature encouraging Schools to seek training for key members of staff and some, possible through the Governor training programme. 8 The LA Support Framework The City of York strategy recognises both the responsibility of Heads and Governors to respond to crises and the LA’s responsibility to provide rapid and effective support to schools and pupils. The support would be directed to help meet a wide and varied range of needs. The City of York strategy will be updated to reflect lessons learned. 8.1 The LA Philosophy The LA is a body accountable to the people of York for supporting schools and children and ensuring that the best use is made of the resources provided by the Council. It is the belief of the LA that schools should remain in control of their Management Plan, but that the Authority should provide support to schools promptly when it is needed. When a crisis occurs that affects the running and stability of a school, the LA wishes to offer every support and comfort it can. To do this, it has a range of supportive strategies. (See Appendix 3). Managing a crisis in your school Page 11 of 15
  12. 12. APPENDIX 1 A Sample of an “Aide Memoire” In the event of a disaster on an excursion or trip What follows is guidance which can be adapted to suit the situation. This written guidance should be held by each adult member of the party. 1. Establish the nature and extent of the emergency. 2. Make sure all other members of the party are accounted for and are safe. 3. If there are injuries, establish their extent and administer appropriate first aid if you have been trained and feel capable. Be aware of consequences that might follow were you to give incorrect treatment. Have regard to your own safety vis-à-vis blood contact. Call the appropriate emergency services. (Information also provided in the Educational Visits Manual). Contact the “out of hours” City of York emergency number as appropriate. 4. Advise other party staff of the incident and of actions taken. Decide if appropriate who is in charge and responsibilities to be undertaken by each adult member of the group. 5. Ensure that an adult accompanies any casualties to hospital. If only one adult is available in the circumstances, a decision will have to be reached as to the best course of action. 6. Ensure that remaining pupils are adequately supervises and arrange for an early return to base. 7. Arrange for one adult to remain at the site of the incident to liaise with the emergency services until the incident is over and all children are accounted for. 8. Contact a senior member of staff on call. Control access to telephones until the senior member of staff has contacted parents or others directly involved. Give full details of the incident, including: • Name person/s involved • Nature, date, location and time of the incident • Details of injuries, etc • Names and home telephone numbers of those involved • Action taken so far • Telephone numbers for future communication 9. No member of staff should discuss matters with the media. 10. The senior member of staff will contact the Headteacher and establish who will take charge of the situation and what immediate action will be taken. The Headteacher will advise the Chair of Governors (home and work numbers should be made available). 11. The Party Leader should, at the first opportunity, make notes on the names and addresses of any witnesses or people involved. 12. Legal liability should not be discussed. 13. Ensure accident forms are completed as soon as possible. 14. Inform parents of any necessary delays. This example of a useful aide-memoire is taken from Huntington Comprehensive School guidelines. Each school should consider developing their own brief guidelines for staff taking charge of a school excursion or trip. Managing a crisis in your school Page 12 of 15
  13. 13. APPENDIX 2 Support available from the LA • Emergency contact points and on-going liaison and support from an Education Officer. Close liaison is important and immediate and easy access of a named officer by the Headteacher will be essential. • Advise and materials provided to schools about immediate action that needs to be taken. • Reassurance and support for key staff who are absorbing the shock of the event. • Rapid access to LA support services such as: Psychology, Social Work, Health and Safety, Legal, Personnel, Planning and Finance. • Negotiated and carefully planned visits by Support Services, eg Psychologists and Social Workers to provide advice and support to staff and to talk to acutely distressed children. • Counselling of children whose needs are beyond the resources of school staff. • Counselling of teachers who were involved in the incident or who have been supporting pupils. • Advice from the Council’s Press Officer about ways of informing the public and answering questions. • Organising training for staff on matters such as dealing with the media, talking with distressed children and communicating with parents. • Advice on matters to do with buildings where there has been damage to the school. • Advice on health and safety issues where necessary. • Legal advice for Heads. • Guidance and support on insurance issues. • Emergency Planning. • Where there is a major incident involving a large number of children and young people, the LA would provide a commensurate response and would mobilise and co-ordinate support for the school via its emergency planning team. The LA Contact Points/Telephone Numbers • Any crisis in a City of York school should be brought to the attention of the Director of Learning, Culture and Children’s Services immediately. • Initial advice and support from named officers is available on a 24 hours a day basis. The Officers can help by sharing the initial shock of the tragedy, by giving advice and information, and then by directing, as appropriate, people and resources to help deal with it. First contact points are: Patrick Scott – Director of Learning, Culture and Children’s Services Tel: 01904 554200 Kevin Hall – Assistant Director (Resource Management) Tel: 01904 554202 Managing a crisis in your school Page 13 of 15
  14. 14. Murray Rose – Assistant Director (Access and Inclusion) Tel: 01904 554203 Jenny Vickers – Assistant Director (School Improvement and Staff Development) Tel: 01904 554207 Pete Dwyer – Assistant Director (Children and Families) Tel: 01904 554212 Jo Sheen – Senior HR Business Partner (Mon, Wed, Thurs) Tel: 01904 554518 Mark Ellis – Principal Education Officer Tel: 01904 554246 Steve Grigg – Head of SEN Tel: 01904 554305 Mark Smith – Principal Education Social Worker Tel: 01904 554309 Claire Johnston – Media and Publications Officer Tel: 01904 551068 Health and Safety Team Tel: 01904 554131; mobile: 07767 318245 (Mon-Fri 8.30 am to 5.00 pm only) Barry Kelly – Emergency Planner Co-ordinator Tel: 01904 551009 Managing a crisis in your school Page 14 of 15
  15. 15. APPENDIX 3 Children Bereavement – Help Lines and Support Groups The Compassionate Friends – 53 North Street, Bristol, BS3 1EN. Tel: 0117 966 5202 Help for anyone of any age who has lost a child. Telephone/letter contact; group meetings; one on one visiting; newsletter; newsletter for siblings (teenage and over); contacts for siblings; contacts for grandparents. Special contacts for those bereaved by suicide or murder. Leaflets, library list, book list. ( Cruse – 126 Sheen Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1UR. Tel: 0870 167 1677 Help for the bereaved through counselling, information and social support through local branches. Publication list, journal. ( The Child Death Helpline – Based at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. Helpline for anyone affected by the death of a child. The telephone is answered by a parent who has themselves been bereaved. Professional consultants provide back up. Every evening 7-10 pm; Mon- Fri 10am-1pm; Wed 1-4pm. Tel: (freephone) 0800 282986 ( The Child Bereavement Trust – Support and counselling for grieving families. A National charity. It provides resources and information for bereaved families and professionals, eg books, cassettes, videos, downloadable leaflets, etc. It provides training and support for professionals to enable them to meet the needs of grieving families. Also Bereavement Workshops and Discussion Forum for families. ( Initial information is mainly concerned with neonatal death, cot death, etc, but expansion planned. Training programme or information pack A4 SAE and £2.50 for p&p: The Child Bereavement Trust Aston House West Wycombe High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP14 3AG Information and support: 0845 357 1000 The Samaritans – 01904 655888 APPENDIX 4 List of useful reference material • Wise Before the Event, Coping with Crises in Schools; William Yule and Anne Gold ISBN 0-903319-66-7 • Coping with Crises; Glenys Parry (1990), British Psychological Society and Routledge • Safety and Disaster Management in Schools and Colleges – A Training Manual; David G Kibble; ISBN 1-85346-535-6 • School Crises and the Media; Association of Metropolitan Authorities Education Circular 5/97 • Your reaction to extremely stressful events – “Coping with Trauma” – a guidance booklet Updated November 2006 Managing a crisis in your school Page 15 of 15