Dear Parents and Carers,
As part of our ongoing health and safety reviews, the school receives regular updates from Northumbria Police and other security advisors such as NaCTSO (National Counter Terrorism Security Office) and I regularly attend training on such matters.
One of the most recent recommendations is that all schools should have in place and regularly practise a full lockdown procedure. The main purpose of a lockdown procedure is to practise how we will keep the children safe should an intruder enter the building, although as you are aware, our school site is extremely secure.
Situations where our lockdown procedure may be used include:
- A potentially dangerous person or animal on the school site
- A disturbance or dangerous situation in the local community that could affect the school
- A nearby chemical incident or other risk of air pollution
- An incident related to terrorism
We plan to carry out our first lockdown practices this week. This will be done in an informal way by each year group rather than as a whole school. As a school, we won’t be discussing terrorism, intruders or anything that could potentially worry the children. We will be describing the exercise as keeping safe should an animal (e.g. a neighbour’s dog) enter the school and it will in effect be a game of hide and seek.
Please be assured that it is highly unlikely that we will ever need to implement a real lockdown, in the same way that we will probably never need to use our fire evacuation plan. That said, I am sure you all appreciate how important it is that we have procedures in place.
Mrs A Whistler