Critical Incident Management Policy

Critical Incident Management Policy – Printable Version


Our school exists to serve the educational needs of the community, to enhance student self- confidence, to promote life skills and attitudes which will enable students to live fulfilling lives.


For the purposes of this policy a critical incident is defined as any incident or sequence of events which overwhelms the normal coping mechanisms of the school and disrupts the running of the school e.g.

  • The death of a member of the school community,
  • A serious accident involving pupils or staff,
  • A traumatic event involving the school,
  • Serious accident or tragedy in the wider community.

As each Critical Incident will require the school to respond in a manner appropriate to that particular incident at that time, this C.I.M.P. is intended to serve as a general outline of procedures to be followed in the event of a critical incident occurring.

In general, it is regarded as good practice for the school to:

(i) Form a Critical Incident Management Team to include:

  • The Principal,
  • The Deputy Principal,
  • Guidance Counsellor,
  • Representative of the Board of Management,
  • Representative of Administrative Staff – School Secretary & Caretaker.

(ii) This team will meet annually.

(iii) It will maintain an up-to-date list of contact numbers for:

  • Staff
  • Parents/guardians of students
  • Emergency support services

Copies will be kept in the Administrative office and Principal’s office. These lists will be updated when necessary by administrative staff.

(iv) The team will also establish a ‘loop’ system among staff so that information can be conveyed one to another should a critical incident happen outside of school hours.

(v) In the case of School Tours, the Tour Leader will compile an information pack to include:

  • Name of the Tour Leader,
  • A list of all participating teachers and pupils,
  • A list of mobile phone numbers for all participating teachers and pupils,
  • Passport details and (in the case of tours outside the country),
  • Photographs of participating pupils,
  • Home contact numbers and mobiles of all involved,
  • Relevant medical information on pupils and permission forms from parents in case of a medical emergency,
  • Insurance details,
  • Copy of itinerary.

A copy of this file should be left with the Principal prior to departure.

(vi) By way of protection of our staff and students, all staff will be made aware of the Health and Safety Document, Fire Evacuation Procedures, the location of the defibrillators and the names of those trained in their use and in First Aid. These lists will also be posted near the defibrillators, on the notice board in the staff room and attached to this document.

(vii) Staff will be reminded of these procedures at the initial staff meeting annually and this information will be provided to new and substitute teachers.

Trauma Response Plan

Procedures to be followed in the event of critical incidents:

On notification of a critical incident, the Principal will convene the Critical Incident Management Team to:

  • Ascertain the facts,
  • Make contact with the family/families concerned,
  • Contact appropriate agencies (e.g. N.E.P.S., D.E.S),
  • Inform Staff, B.O.M. and GRETB,
  • Agree on a statement of the facts for staff, pupils, parents/guardians and the media and inform these parties as appropriate,
  • Identify high risk pupils,
  • Appoint one person to deal with phone calls,
  • Organise timetable/supervision rota for the day,
  • Organise support and rooms for counselling/assistance where appropriate, Endeavour to maintain the regular school routine if possible,
  • When appropriate arrange for representatives from the school to visit the home(s) of person(s) concerned.

Procedures to be followed in the event of death:

Inform staff and pupils re funeral arrangements,

  • Arrange involvement in liturgy if agreed with bereaved family,
  • Facilitate staff and pupils’ response e.g. book of condolence, school council’s vote of sympathy, flowers, etc.
  • Support distressed pupils and staff,
  • Ensure counselling service is available,
  • Care of deceased person’s possessions in keeping with parental/guardians’ wishes,
  • Facilitate return to school of siblings and close friends,
  • Monitor siblings and friends of the deceased,
  • Update and amend school records and inform DES.
Long Term Tasks
In the aftermath of a critical incident, a death, accident, serious illness or any such incident: Awareness of the need to:
  • Keep in contact with the family/families concerned,
  • Be sensitive to occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas etc,
  • Organise school services/memorial as appropriate,
  • Review the support structures available,
  • Provide the appropriate support,
  • Review overall school response.