Critical incidents, bomb threats and national security

A range of Department for Education Guidance documents are available below to assist you in completing your own policies and procedures for managing critical incidents.

It is essential that you read and note the contents of, the new November 2023 letter to all schools from the Head of Organisational Support, Emma Laflin. This includes new contact details for the Educaton Officer team, which is crucial to the process of reporting incidents.

Please read the main document entitled ‘DfE Guidance – School and College Security, November 2019’ first, and then use the Word templates as required.

This guidance and associated templates can be used in conjunction with the SCC and Suffolk Constabulary self-assessment already published.

There are numerous types of incident which could be deemed ‘critical’.  For clarification, a critical incident is any event that the head teacher feels the safety of pupils or staff is compromised. These events may include the following, but the list is not exhaustive:

  • The death of a member of the school community through sudden death, accident, terminal illness or suicide
  • A serious incident / accident / unwanted event involving pupils or staff on or off the school premises
  • An accident / tragedy in the wider community which may or may not affect the school directly but is in the direct vicinity of the school
  • A physical attack on staff member(s) or student(s) or intrusion into the school
  • Bomb threats
  • Serious damage to the school building through fire, flood, vandalism etc
  • The disappearance of a member of the school community
  • One where you are required to call the police
  • The need to close the whole, or part of the school.

Please find below a number of DfE links for practical advice regarding managing school security, policies and plans and relevant legislation. All of these documents can assist you to manage local policies and procedures.

The Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Constabulary Joint Working ‘School Site Security Guidance and Self-Assessment‘ will assist you in assessing your site’s physical security.

There is also a letter from the Chief Constable and the Executive Director of Fire and Public Protection. This is applicable to all school environments.

Any concerns regarding the reporting of critical incidents can be directed to [email protected] and [email protected]