During the Coronavirus Pandemic, the meaning of “Lockdown” has altered, to mean a strategy in which people are required to remain at home to limit the spread of the virus. We already had a “Lockdown” Procedure in place which addressed the following:
Lockdown procedures enable a school to very quickly close down and protect itself and those within it from an identified and urgent risk, such as the following:
• An intruder on the school’s site or nearby
• A local incident, such as a civil disturbance or risk of air pollution • A fire adjacent to the school
• A dangerous dog or another animal which is nearby
• A firearms or weapons attack.
We have therefore re-named the Procedure as “Safer Indoors (Lockdown) Procedure”.
This list illustrates some of the more typical causes for a school to lockdown. Lockdown is the ability to quickly restrict access, prevent staff and pupils from moving towards danger, or frustrate or delay the identified risk from entering the school. As with emergency evacuation procedures, the type, severity and location of risk/threat will vary. Therefore there needs to be dynamic risk assessment with the procedure adjusted as necessary to keep people safe. However, the following principles will guide appropriate responses to a threat that would be best managed by locking down the site.
● The most senior member of staff on-site will be the ‘Lockdown Manager’. This will usually be the: Executive Head Teacher or Head of School.
● The Lockdown Manager will delegate a member of staff to call the police on 999 to report the situation.
● The need for lockdown will be indicated by an announcement made over the walkie-talkie system and/or by a member of staff delegated to phone or take messages to each classroom. At Victoria School, a public announcement will be made over the phone system.
● All pupils/students and staff who are inside the building will remain inside the building and return to their classrooms unless advised by the Lockdown Manager that an alternative location would be safer.
● All pupils/students and staff who are outside the building will return by the nearest safe route to the building. (The Lockdown Manager will delegate a senior leader to pass on the lockdown message to everyone who is outside and also advise whether staff and pupils/students should return to classrooms or other areas such as the assembly hall.)
● All doors and windows must be locked and window coverings closed. Lights must be turned off and classroom equipment switched off. Mobile phones must be switched to silent mode.
Safer Indoors (Lockdown) Procedure/Updated JF September 2020
Status: Minor Changes
● Administrative or Site staff will lock external doors. (This decision will depend on who is closest and able to lock the doors most quickly.)
● All pupils/students and staff must stay out of sight of windows and doors, remain quiet and wait until advised that it is safe to move. (Remaining out of sight may include sitting under desks or moving around a corner, out of sight of windows and doors.)
● Staff will keep pupils/students occupied and calm.
● Teachers should write the names of anyone missing from their class on a piece of paper and
slip it under the door.
● The Lockdown Manager will delegate a senior leader to move around the building to check
for missing staff, pupils/students.
● The Lockdown Manager will delegate a member of staff to send a text to parents informing
them of the lockdown and advising them to stay away and not contact the school until
● Staff who are off-site (eg: on an educational outing) will be contacted and advised not to
return to the school until further notice.)
● If possible, Travel Assist, drivers and guides will also be informed if it is close to the end of
the school day.
● Once the lockdown is underway, staff will continually risk assess the cause of the lockdown
(with support from the emergency services); the movement of pupils will only be
undertaken with the approval of the emergency services.
● The Lockdown Manager will inform the Local Authority and Chair of Governors of the
situation once all emergency procedures are in place.
● The lockdown will remain in place until it has been lifted by the Lockdown Manager or by the
● Once the threat has been removed, the Lockdown Manager will arrange for staff and
pupils/students, parents, Chair of Governors, Local Authority and Emergency Services to be
informed that the situation is now safe.
● A fire alarm will override a lockdown, and it will be the cue to evacuate the school
● Lockdown procedures should be regularly supported with staff training refreshers.
● After a Lockdown, opportunities should be provided for those impacted, to debrief about
● Parents will be informed that the school has a lockdown procedure and be given enough
information, so they are reassured the school understands their concerns for their children’s welfare and is doing everything possible to ensure their children’s safety. Parents should also be informed not to contact the school during a lockdown as contacting the school will block the school’s telephone lines when they are needed to communicate with the outside world. Pupils should not be released to parents during a lockdown. Finally, parents should wait for the school to contact them about when it is safe to collect their children and where this will be from; parents should also be made aware of what will happen if the lockdown continues beyond school hours.
● THE Lockdown Procedure will be published on Federation websites and displayed in classrooms beside emergency evacuation procedures.
Support for staff and pupils: In the event of a prolonged or particularly challenging lockdown, emergency services, local authorities and voluntary sector organisations will typically work together to coordinate practical and emotional support for those affected by the lockdown events.