Lockdown procedures in schools

21 February 2019

Serious threats are often difficult to predict and hard to handle. If you have plans in place however, it helps everyone in your establishment to be prepared for the worst.

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Simple actions cost little or nothing. Simply having a plan will minimise risks to students and staff.

What are lockdown procedures in schools?

Lockdown procedures describe the pre-planning of protocol and responsibilities for crisis situations. They will vary between establishments depending on factors like age of student, premises layout, size and location e.g. urban or rural, security arrangements and more.

You can watch staff at Reinwood Junior School in West Yorkshire talk to the BBC about their lockdown procedures and also watch the gov.uk Run, hide, tell film.

What is a lockdown drill in school?

A lockdown drill is when a school practices their procedures so that students and staff are prepared, just as you would expect for a fire drill. It will help them to recognise the kind of alarm they will hear and how they should respond.

In some cases, lockdown procedures are described more softly as ‘sheltering in place’ to prevent alarm.

What would need to happen for a school to go into lockdown?

  • Aggressive or violent people
  • Siege or hostage incident
  • Dangerous animals
  • Severe storms and lightning

Ultimately, there are many circumstances which could cause a lockdown but they are few and far between. Having a plan in place can minimise risk, prevent harm and protect the reputation of your organisation.

To begin your lockdown arrangements, you can use our lockdown procedure checklist which details the questions you should be asking to make sure you have appropriate measures in place.

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