February 14

Critical Incident Policy

Critical Incident Policy
In Inver N.S. we aim to protect the wellbeing of our pupils and staff by providing a safe, tolerant and well catered for environment.
The BOM through the principal and the staff have drawn up a critical incident management plan. They have established a Critical Incident Management Team to steer the development and implementation of the plan.
What is a critical incident?
In a school context, NEPS suggests the following definition: A critical incident is any incident or sequence of events which overwhelms the normal coping mechanisms of the school. Examples:
• Death, major illness/ outbreaks of disease
• Major accidents, serious injury ( e.g. Bus/car Crash)
• Suicide
• Fire, natural and technological disaster (e.g. school ceiling collapsing)
• Disappearance of student from school or home

Critical Incident Management Team:
Leadership Role: Diane Cosgrove (Principal)
Communication Role: Deborah Reilly (Deputy Principal)
Student Liaison / Counselling Role: Diane Cosgrove/Deborah Reilly
Chaplaincy Role: Fr Joe Hogan
B.O.M. Rep: Geraldine Walsh
The first named person has the responsibility as defined.
The second named person assists and only assumes responsibility on the absence of the first named.

Team Leadership Role:
• Confirms the event
• Alerts Team Members to the crisis and coordinates tasks of the team.
• Liaise with Gardaí – ensures information about deaths or other is checked out for accuracy before being shared
• Liaises with the B. O. M; DES; NEPS; SEC
• Decide how news will be communicated to different groups (staff, pupils, parents)
• Lead briefing meetings for staff on the facts known, give staff members opportunity to express their feelings and ask questions. Outline routine for the day.
• Liaises with the bereaved family/ Expresses sympathy. Discuss involvement of school in e.g. funeral service
• Clarify facts surrounding the event.
• Ensure provision of ongoing support to staff and students
• Facilitate any appropriate memorial events & involve family if appropriate.
• Offer to link family with community support groups
• Review Plan

Communication Role:
• With team, prepare a public statement (See Folder for examples)
• Ensure telephone lines are free for outgoing and important incoming calls.
• Designate phone numbers for contact ( see folder)
• Liaise with outside support agencies.
• Review and evaluate effectiveness of communication response.

Student Liaison / Counselling Role:
• Advise staff on the procedures for identification of vulnerable pupils (see folder)
• Alert staff to vulnerable students (appropriately)
• Provide materials for staff & students ( see folder)
• Address immediate needs of staff
• Outline specific services available in the school
• Keep records of students seen by external agency staff
• Seek parental consent for a child to be seen in a group or individually by a NEPS psychologist. (See Folder)
• Provide ongoing support to vulnerable students
• Monitor class most affected
• Refer as appropriate

Chaplaincy Role:
• Visit Home(s) if appropriate
• Assist with prayer services
• Make contact with other local clergy
• Be available as personal and spiritual support to staff
• Provide follow – up support to families in conjunction with Home School Community Liaison
• Work in partnership with Critical Incident Team
• Review and evaluate plan with team.

Short Term Actions – Day 1
Task Name
Gather accurate information – Liaise with Gardaí Leader
Immediate contact with family to express sympathy Leader
Convene a CIMT meeting Leader
Contact external agencies (See List ) Communication Role
Arrange supervision for students Leader
Hold staff meeting Leader/All staff
Agree schedule for day (Normal if possible) Leader
Inform students (Appropriately) Leader/ SLP
Compile a list of vulnerable students SLP
Take note of absentees who may need to be contacted. Give to SLP. Class Teacher
Arrange a home visit by 2 staff reps within 24 hours if appropriate. Principal/SLP/Teacher
Prepare and agree media statement if necessary(See Folder) Communication Role
Inform Parents (See Folder for letters & FAQ’s) Communication Role
Hold end of day staff meeting Leader/ All staff

Medium Term Actions – Day 2 and following days
Task Name
Convene CIMT meeting to review day 1 Leader
Meet external agencies & arrange individual or group debriefing or support meetings Communication Role
Seek parental consent for support groups SLP
Meet Whole staff Leader/ All staff
Arrange support for students, staff, parents SLP
Visit the family Principal/ SLP/ Teacher
Liaise with bereaved regarding funeral arrangements Leader
Agree on attendance and participation at funeral service Leader
Make decisions about school closure BOM
Facilitation of student/ staff responses eg. Flowers BOM
Plan for reintegration of student/staff (Close relative) SLP

Long Term Actions
Task Name
Monitor students for signs of continuing distress – See Folder Class Teacher/ SLP
Liaise with agencies regarding referrals SLP/ Communicator
Plan for return of bereaved student/ staff Leader/ All staff
Review response to incident and amend plan CIMT
Decide on memorials/ anniversary (Consult with family) Principal/ SLP
If affected pupil/ class transfer new school, inform principal Principal

Implication / Ratification and Review
This policy has been updated in September 2018. It will be reviewed again in light of a critical incident or in October 2020.
Signed: _____________________________________ Date:__________________
Signed: ______________________________________ Date: __________________

Print Friendly, PDF & Email