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Critical Incident Management Plan

Glenamaddy Community School aims to protect the well being of its students and
staff by providing a safe and nurturing environment at all times.

"Glenamaddy Community School dedicates itself to providing a holistic education
where the potential and uniqueness of each student is fostered and celebrated. With
our Educational Partners we strive to create a caring environment of mutual respect,
where each individual is cherished and nurtured to a personal, intellectual and moral
maturity. We find our inspiration in the Christian message of faith, hope and love".(Mission Statement).

The Board of Management, through the Principal, has drawn up a Critical Incident Management Plan as one element of the school's policies and plans.

Critical Incident

The staff and management of Glenamaddy Community School recognise a critical incident to be "an incident or sequence of events that overwhelms the normal coping mechanism of the school". Critical incidents may involve one or more students or staff members, or members of our local community. Types of incidents might include:

> The death of a member of the school community through accident, violence,
suicide or suspected suicide or other unexpected death
> An intrusion into the school
> An accident involving members of the school community
> An accident/tragedy in the wider community
> Serious damage to the school building through fire, flood, vandalism, etc
> The disappearance of a member of the school community


The aim of the Critical Incident Management Plan (CIMP) is to help school management and staff to react quickly and effectively in the event of an incident, to enable us to maintain a sense of control and to ensure that appropriate support is offered to students and staff. Having a good plan should also help ensure that the effects on the students and staff will be limited. It should enable us to effect a return to normality as soon as possible.

Creation of a Coping Supportive and Caring Ethos in the School

We have put systems in place to help to build resilience in both staff and students, thus preparing them to cope with a range of life events. These include measures to address both the physical and psychological safety of the school community.

Physical safety

> Evacuation plan formulated
> Regular fire drills occur
> Fire exits and extinguishers are regularly checked
> Pre-opening supervision in the school yard and lunch room
> Rules of the playground clearly understood

Psychological safety

The management and staff of Glenamaddy Community School aim to use available programmes and resources to address the personal and social development of students, to enhance a sense of safety and security in the school and to provide opportunities for reflection and discussion.

> Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) is integrated into the work of
the school. It is addressed in the curriculum by addressing issues such as
coping with loss; communication skills; conflict management; help seeking;
bullying; decision-making and prevention of alcohol and drug misuse.
Promotion of emotional health is an integral part of this provision
> Staff have access to training for their role in SPHE
> Staff are familiar with the Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures and
details of how to proceed with suspicions or disclosures
> Books and resources on difficulties affecting students are available
>  Information is provided on mental health in general and such specific areas as signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety
> Staff are informed in the area of suicide awareness and some are trained in
interventions for suicidal students
> The school has developed links with a range of external agencies - NEPS,
CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service - HSE), Social Workers,
GRD (Galway Rural Development), VEC, NCSE
> Inputs to students by external providers are carefully considered in the light of criteria about student safety, the appropriateness of the content, and the
expertise of the providers (cf. Appendix XX Section 7 Guidelines)
> The school has a clear policy on bullying and deals with bullying in
accordance with this policy
> There is a care system in place in the school
> Students who are identified as being at risk are referred to the designated staff
member (e.g. guidance counsellor, chaplain or support teacher), concerns are
explored and the appropriate level of assistance and support is provided.
Parents are informed, and where appropriate, a referral is made to an
appropriate agency
> Staff are informed about how to access support for themselves

Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT)

A CIMT has been established in line with best practice. The members of the team were selected on a voluntary basis and will retain their roles for at least one school year. The members of the team will meet annually to review and update the policy and plan. Each member of the team has a dedicated critical incident folder. This contains a copy of the policy and plan and materials particular to their role, to be used in the event of an incident.

Preparation of CIMP

Roles (cf. Appendix A)
The key roles in this school are:
> Team Leader - Principal
> Garda Liaison
> Staff Liaison
> Student Liaison
> Parent Liaison
> Community Liaison
> Media Liaison
> Administrator

Team leader
> Alerts the team members to the crisis and convenes a meeting
> Coordinates the tasks of the team
> Liases with the Board of Management; DBS; NEPS; SEC
> Liases with the bereaved family
> Appoint a substitute for times when team leader absent

Garda liaison (may be done by team leader)
> Liases with the Gardai
> Ensures that information about deaths or other developments is checked out
for accuracy before being shared

Staff liaison
> Leads briefing meetings for staff on the facts as known, gives staff members
an opportunity to express their feelings and ask questions, outlines the routine
for the day
> Advises staff on the procedures for identification of vulnerable students
> Provides materials for staff (from their critical incident folder)
> Keeps staff updated as the day progresses
> Is alert to vulnerable staff members and makes contact with them individually
> Advises them of the availability of the EAS and gives them the contact number

Student liaison
> At post-primary level, may co-ordinate information from tutors and year heads
about students they are concerned about
> Alerts other staff to vulnerable students (appropriately)
> Provides materials for students (from their critical incident folder)
> Keeps records of students seen by external agency staff
> Looks after setting up and supervision of 'quiet' room where agreed
Community/agency liaison
> Maintains up to date lists of contact numbers of key parents e.g. Parents
Council, emergency support services and other external contacts and resources
> Liases with agencies in the community for support and onward referral
> Is alert to the need to check credentials of individuals offering support
> Coordinates the involvement of these agencies
> Reminds agency staff to wear name badges
> Updates team members on the involvement of external agencies

Parent liaison
> Visits bereaved family with the team leader
> Arranges parent meetings, if held
> May facilitate such meetings, and manage 'questions and answers'
> Manages the 'consent' issues in accordance with agreed school policy
> Ensures that sample letters are typed up, on the school's system and ready for
> Sets up room for meetings with parents )  
> Maintains a record of parents seen
> Meets with individual parents
> Provides appropriate materials for parents (from their critical incident folder)

Media liaison
> In advance of an incident, will consider issues that may arise and how they might be responded to (e.g. students being interviewed, photographers on the premises, etc.)
> In the event of an incident, will liase where necessary with the SEC; relevant
teacher unions etc.
> Will draw up a press statement, give media briefings and interviews (as agreed
by school management)

> Maintenance of up to date telephone numbers of :
• Parents or guardians
• Teachers
• Emergency services
> Takes telephone calls and notes those that need to be responded to
> Ensures that templates are on the school's system in advance and ready for
> Prepares and sends out letters, emails and faxes
> Photocopies materials needed
> Maintains records

Record keeping

In the event of an incident each member of the team will keep records of phone calls made and received, letters sent and received, meetings held, persons met, interventions used, material used etc.
The school secretary, will have a key role in receiving and logging telephone calls, sending letters, photocopying materials, etc.

Confidentiality and good name consideration

The management and staff of Glenamaddy Community School have a responsibility to protect the privacy and name of the people involved in any incident and will be sensitive to the consequences of any public statements. The members of the school staff will bear this in mind, and will seek to ensure that students do so also. For instance, the term 'suicide' will not be used unless there is solid information that death was due to suicide, AND that the family involved consents to its use. The phrases 'tragic death' or 'sudden death' may be used instead. Similarly, the word 'murder' should not be used until it is legally established that a murder was committed. The term 'violent death' may be used instead.

Critical incident rooms

In the event of a critical incident
Staff Room will be the main room used to meet staff
o For meetings with students - class room or gym for larger groups
o For parents - convent house
o For media - convent house
o For individual sessions with students - Chaplain's room, HSCL room,
o Guidance Counsellor's room
o For other visitors - Principal's office/ Reception area

Consultation and communication regarding the plan

All staff were consulted and their views canvassed in the preparation of this policy and plan. Students and parent representatives were also consulted and asked for their comments.
Our school's final policy and plan in relation to responding to critical incidents has been presented to all staff.
Each member of the critical incident team has a personal copy of the plan.
All new and temporary staff will be informed of the details of the plan by the Principal
The plan will be updated annually in September.


Appendix A:

Team Leader: Principal, who has delegated the following people to
their respective roles.
Sub Team Leader: Deputy Principal
Garda Liaison: Deputy Principal
Staff Liaison: Guidance Counsellor
Student Liaison: Chaplain
Parent Liaison / Community Liaison: Learning Support Co-ordinator
Media Liaison: School Planning Coordinator
Administrator: School Secretary





Glenamaddy Community School, Church Street, Glenamaddy, Via Castlerea, Co. Galway, F45KF50 


Telephone +353(0)94 9659315 | Fax +353(0)94 9659354 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

RCN: 20149543