At The Gainsborough Academy we take safeguarding and safety very seriously. It is important that we continue to review all our procedures, taking into account even those events that are very unlikely to occur. As part of this process, we have introduced a new procedure called “lockdown”.
I am writing to inform you that we will be practising this procedure for the first time after the Easter break.
What is a lockdown and when would we carry it out?
A lockdown procedure is a standard health and safety procedure, similar to a fire drill.
Our lockdown procedure would be used when there is a threat to the safety of pupils, staff and others in the academy, and when it is safer for everyone to remain in the academy than evacuate. The aim is to keep people safe by confining them to a secure place of safety.
Situations where our lockdown procedure may be used include:
- A potentially dangerous person or animal on the academy site
- A disturbance or dangerous situation in the local community that could affect the academy
- A nearby chemical incident or other risk of air pollution
- An incident related to terrorism
Our lockdown procedure is as follows:
- An alarm will sound to notify pupils and staff that the academy is in lockdown
- Pupils and staff will immediately move inside to the nearest classroom or office
- Registers will be taken to ensure that all pupils, staff and visitors have been accounted for
- All external doors and windows will be locked
- The emergency services will be called
- In the event of a full lockdown all internal doors will also be locked and blinds drawn
- In partial lockdown work in classrooms and offices can continue as normal as the threat is outside, such as the risk of air pollution or a civil disturbance.
- In full lockdown all work stops as pupils and staff have to be out of sight and in silence as the threat is either inside the building or likely to enter the building
Instructions for parents in the event of a lockdown
- Parents will be informed that the academy is in lockdown via the academy’s website and by text message
- Parents should not attempt to call or come to the academy, as this may hinder our effort to contact and work with the emergency services. Should a parent present at the academy during a lockdown, under no circumstances will members of staff leave the building to communicate with them
- Parents should not discuss the event on social media, as this may spread false information and create panic
- Pupils will be instructed to switch their mobile phones off during a lockdown, so parents should not be alarmed if their child does not answer their phone
- Should a lockdown continue beyond school hours, parents will be informed when it is safe to collect their children and where to collect them from. Staff will continue to supervise pupils until parents arrive.
Prior to our drill, staff will take time to talk to pupils about lockdown procedures and explain why they are important. They will reassure pupils after the drill that they are safe, and will emphasise that practising procedures like this will make sure the academy remains a safe place to learn.
I must stress again this is simply a practice, so that in the unlikely event of such a situation, our pupils and staff are fully prepared.
If you or your child have any further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Jo Wilby, Finance & Business Manager on 01427 612411.