Monitoring your school's emergency or critical incident plan

Help your school prepare for emergencies by reviewing its emergency or critical incident plan. All schools should have one that includes how they'll respond to various significant incidents, such public health incidents, severe weather or criminal activity.

Last reviewed on 1 May 2024See updates
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  1. Key facts
  2. Key things to know about your school's emergency plan
  3. How to scrutinise the emergency plan
  4. Questions to ask
  5. See examples from schools

Our thanks to our associate governance experts Pete Crockett and Julia Skinner for their help with this article.

Key things to know about your school's emergency plan

All schools should have an emergency plan (also called a critical incident plan), which focuses on:

  • Minimising disruption to pupils' education
  • Maximising the number of pupils receiving face-to-face provision 
  • Helping staff respond effectively to an emergency on site or during an educational visit

This is explained in the first section of the Department for Education (DfE)’s non-statutory emergency planning and response guidance.

Your school must also comply with legal requirements, including health and safety law, and statutory requirements.

What a good plan should cover

Roles and responsibilities When your school should get advice, and who to ask Details of the steps your school might take in an emergency and how it would enact them

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