Last reviewed on 24 November 2022
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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 as an outbreak of acute respiratory disease.

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 on page 5 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.

Instead, your school leaders can include your school's planned response to a severe outbreak of COVID-19 in your school's emergency plan, which should include their plans for responding to any serious public health incidents. However, they're free to keep this separate if they'd