Critical Incident Response Policy

Killinarden Community School > Critical Incident Response Policy

Critical Incident Response Policy

Killinarden Community School 2012


Killinarden Community School aims to protect the wellbeing of it’s students and staff by providing a safe and caring environment at all times.  This is in keeping with out mission statement:

‘Our school community is committed to providing an inclusive learning environment, enabling students to achieve their full potential, promoting excellence and fostering respect for the individual and the community.  We strive to do this in a spirit of co-operation and partnership and in keeping with true Christian values’.

 The school has in place a number of policies and programmes which aim to safeguard the physical and psychological safety and wellbeing of its students and staff.  KCS recognises a Critical Incident to be ‘an incident or sequence of events which overwhelms the normal coping mechanisms of the school and disrupts the running of the school’ Critical incidents may involve one or more students, staff, or our local community.  These types of incidents might include:

v     The death of a member of the school community trough sudden death, accident, terminal illness or suicide.

v     An accident involving students and/or staff on or off the school premises.

v     A physical attack on staff member(s) or student(s) or intrusion into the school.

v     Serious damage to the school building through fire, flood, vandalism etc.

v     The disappearance of a member of the school community.

v     An accident/tragedy in the wider community.

 KillinardenCommunitySchool recognises that the key to managing such an incident is to have a plan in place.  Our Critical Incident plan aims to help staff respond quickly and effectively and to maintain control.  It should also help us to return to normality as soon as possible and ensure that the effects on students are limited.

There are already systems and programmes in place to lessen the probability of a critical incident and its impact where such should occur.

 These are:

v     School Code of Behaviour

v     Anti Bullying Policy

v     Social Personal & Health Education Programme supported by inputs from suitable outside agencies on matters of Substance Education, RSE, Mental Health, Cyber Safety, Road Safety, Leadership, Personal Development and other relevant topics.

v     Pastoral Care Programme/Care Team students who are identified as being at risk are referred to the designated staff member as appropriate.  Parents are informed and where appropriate referral is made to a suitable outside agency.

v     Guidance Policy and Programme.  Counsellors are available to students and parents and are an integral part of the care system in the school.

v     Child Protection Guidelines & Procedures, staff are familiar with how to proceed with suspicions or disclosures.

v     School Completion Programme, School Project Worker.

v     Student Council

v     Trained First Responders on Staff.

v     Provision of Defibrillator.

v     The school has close links with, HSE, NEPS, DES, Social Services, Lucena Clinic, Families First, Killinarden Drugs Primary Prevention Group, Foroige, Killinarden Community Centre, Community Gardai.

v     Resource materials are available to staff in relation to issues effecting students in Staff Resource area in Library.  All staff can access the Child Protection Guidelines on the Dept. Children & Youth Affairs website.

v     C.C.T.V & Security System

 There are also physical safety plans which operate in school:

v     Fire Exits clearly marked and regular fire drills.

v     Supervision in school before classes and during lunch break.

v     Supervision at exits at lunch and end of day.

v     Supervision of students for all away activities/trips.


The provision of a Critical Incident Management Plan (CIMP) is designed to ensure that in the event of such an incident there is an agreed plan in place, with roles clearly assigned. 


 The members of the team are selected on a voluntary basis and remain on the team for at least one year.  The team will meet as required but at least once annually to update the plan where required.  Each member will have a CIMP folder with the Plan and the documents/resources relevant to that member’s role.


Draft Critical Incident Response Plan.

 Critical Incident Management Team, KCS has set up a team consisting of the following core group, other staff members may be co-opted onto the team as required.


Deputy Principal

School Secretary

HomeSchool Community Liaison Teacher

School Guidance Counsellor

School Chaplain

SCP Project Worker

The Principal will act as Team Leader or in his absence the Deputy Principal.


v     Key administrative tasks for the CIMT:

  1. Maintain an up-to-date list of numbers for, students, parents, guardians, this to be done by Year Heads,

Staff, this to be done by Principal.

Emergency support services, this to be done by school secretary and displayed in Principal/D.P. Office, main office Year Head offices.

  1. Information for school trips/away activities this should contain:

List of all staff and students involved and teacher in charge

List of mobile numbers for teachers involved

Up to date medical information on pupils with allergies/conditions etc.

List to be left in main office/D.P. by teacher in charge


Identify roles to be filled at time of critical incident:


v     Team Leader:

Alerts the team to the situation and convenes meeting.

Co-ordinates the tasks of the team

Liaises with the Board of Management and the Dept. Education and Skills


v     Staff Liaison:

Leads meeting with staff, gives facts as known, gives staff members an opportunity to express feelings,

Outlines routine for the day

Is aware of vulnerable staff members and makes contact with them


v     Student Liaison:

Liaises with others team/staff on vulnerable students

Links with vulnerable students

Links with Year Heads

Works with others to provide and staff suitable space for students to talk or be together

Advise students on contact with media


v     Parent Liaison

Makes contact with parents

Makes arrangements fro Parents’ Meeting where required

Makes visits to families involves other members of team/staff as required

Makes contact as required with Parents Council

Advise parents on contact with media


v     Community Liaison

Liaises with agencies in the community for support and ongoing referral.

Keeps team informed of involvement of External Agencies

Co-ordinates the involvements of these agencies

Maintains an up to date list of contact numbers for these agencies


All materials required to be kept in CIMT Pack.  Each member to have a copy.


v     Confidentiality

The school is conscious of its responsibility to protect the privacy and good name of people involved in any event/accident and will be sensitive to the consequences of any statement.  The choice of terminology when describing an event is important.  This should be borne in mind by staff and students.  Contact with the media will be done by the Principal or Deputy Principal only.


 In the event of a critical incident the Staff Room will be the main room to meet staff.  K2 will be used as a space for students.  The Parents’ room will be used for meeting with parents/parent groups/visitors.  C.M.I.T Team meets in the Board Room



v     Responding to Critical Incidents

Advice and Information Pack for Schools. NEPS

v     Responding to Critical Incidents

Guidelines for school.  NEPS

v     Responding to Critical Incidents

Resource Materials for Schools.   NEPS

v     Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children.  Dept. of Children and Youth Affairs.


 Appendix 1.


Key Roles



Team Leader

J. Fennell

Staff Liaison

J. Fennell/A.M. Gorman/D. Dignam

Student Liaison

L. Mynes/P. Cuthbert

Parent Liaison

J. Mulhere/K. Bates

Community Liaison

K. Bates/J. Mulhere

Time table & Student Supervision

N. Walsh/M. Moran

Agencies Liaison

I. Garvey/E. Nolan

Media Liaison

J. Fennell/N. Walsh



Appendix 2


Emergency Contact Numbers


Ambulance/Fire Service


Tallaght Gardai


Community Garda

086 8641335





Dept. Ed & Skills





087 1216459

HSCL Teacher

087 4101550

HSE Millbrook Lawns


Community Centre


Care Takers

J. Wynne

S. Donnelly 087 2946105

Admin. Staff

Jolyne Byrne

Barbara O’ Neill










Appendix 3


Action first 24 Hours : Immediate Response


Task Name
Gather accurate information  
Contact appropriate agencies  
Convene meeting of CIMT  
Arrange supervision of students  
Hold Staff Meeting  
Set Timetable for the day  
Contact parents  
Inform students  
Make contact with family/persons immediately concerned  
Deal with media  


24 – 72 Hours


Task Name
CIMT review day 1  
Plan for day 2  
Attendance at hospital/home  
Arrange for support for individuals/groups  
Plan reintegration of staff/students  
Liaise with family re: funeral  
Attendance/participation at funeral.  
School closure  



 Beyond 72 hours


Task Name
Monitor students for signs of stress  
Monitor staff for signs of stress  
Evaluate CIRP and amend appropriately  
Formalise plan for the future  
Inform new staff and students  
Decide on appropriate ways to deal with anniversaries/memorials  


Useful Contact Numbers


Barnardos 4530355
The Samaritans 1850 609090
Pieta House 6010000
Aware 6617211
Families First 086 0267722
National Suicide Bereavement Support 4142485
Jigsaw 4727010
Rainbows 4734175