We have reviewed our existing emergency practices such as evacuation and fire drill to include lockdown procedures.
Lockdown procedures are important and would be used in response to an internal or external incident which could threaten the safety of pupils and staff in school. For example, a number of schools in Berkshire were in lockdown recently due to an escaped wolf. There may be any number of situations such as:
- A reported incident or disturbance in the community
- An intruder on site
- A warning regarding a local risk of air pollution (smoke or gas cloud)
- A major fire in the vicinity of the school.
Following letters to parents during the first week of term and assemblies in week commencing Monday 8 January 2018, on Tuesday 16 January we trialled our first lockdown drill. Impressively, we were able to ‘lockdown’ the site and check each room in under 8 minutes. Staff rose to the challenge and pupils conducted themselves in a calm and mature manner. This was a first run through with the aim of achieving some basic common principles across the site. We will now take this forward and refine our plans and protocols.
I am very grateful to all of our pupils and members of staff, who after our briefings in assemblies, followed the lockdown procedure calmly and efficiently. While we do not want to think about the unthinkable, we will continue to refine our emergency plans in response to the guidance and feedback we receive and practise the skills that may keep us all safe in the future.
Chiquita Henson, Headteacher
"I would just like to tell you how relieved I am that the school is taking the time to prepare our son for what to do in the event of a serious incident. It’s so hard to get the balance between being alarmist but sensible and I believe it is better to be prepared for every eventuality and not need it rather than be unprepared… thank you for tackling this difficult subject." Parent