Chairperson of Board of Management
Review Date: Reviewed on November 27, 2014.
A Critical Incident is any incident or sequence of events, which overwhelms the normal coping mechanisms of the school and disrupts the running of the school. Critical Incident team will meet to decide whether it’s a critical incident or not.
The goal of the Critical Incident Management Policy (CIMP) for Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland is to provide a caring, safe and supportive environment, which respects the whole school community, so that all those involved will emerge from any critical incident knowing that there are structures in place that will help them deal appropriately with the event.
The aim of the 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 affect a return to normality as soon as possible.
Though the Principal obviously exercises a pivotal role in the school’s response to a critical incident, Best Practice recommends the formation of a Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT) composed of key school personnel, in providing a supportive role. The role of NEPS is to support schools in supporting students and staff.
The rationale for this plan is to enable the school to identify risks and to have a communication plan in place that can be effectively put into action when an accident occurs in the school. It will be used in conjunction with all other school policies and procedures in promoting positive mental health and in creating effective care systems in the school.
Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland is committed to the welfare of its students. This is currently evident in the relationship between staff and students. Our School curriculum addresses issues such as grief and loss, communication skills, prevention of alcohol and drug misuse, self-esteem and bullying. All staff has been made aware of the ‘Children First Guidelines and Procedures’ and the Principal is the designated liaison person. The school’s pastoral care team meet on a weekly basis. School policies are up to date and regularly reviewed in consultation with key stakeholders. All staff attend continuous professional development at regular intervals thereby ensuring recent developments in education and health and safety are complied with.
|Team Leader – K.Broderick
|Alerts the team members to the crisis and convenes a meeting informing them of all relevant facts. Delegates and coordinates the tasks of the team.
Informs and liaises with the Board of Management, NEPS, Túsla, DES and with the local Gardaí (where appropriate).
|Staff Liaison –
|Briefs staff at the earliest opportunity. Students will be supervised at these times. The facts, as known, will be disclosed to the staff members who will be given an opportunity to express their feelings and ask questions. Staff will be briefed on the procedures for identification of vulnerable students. Materials for staff (from critical incident folder) will be provided. Staff will be updated as appropriate.|
|Student Liaison –
|Inform students of the facts of the incident, coordinate information from subject teachers regarding students whom they are concerned about, alert other staff to vulnerable students, provide materials for students from critical incident folder, keep records of students seen by external agencies, organisation and supervision of ‘quiet room’ (Year Heads’ Office to be used with a small group & Social Activity Room if number of students too large)|
|Parent Liaison –
K.Broderick, Veronica Ross Dowd
|Liaise with the family, visits the family with the Principal, may arrange a meeting of parents, manages the ‘consent’ issues in accordance with agreed school policy, ensures that sample letters are typed up and stored on the school system ready for adaptation, sets up S. Moloney’s Office for meeting with parents, maintains a record of parents seen, meets with individual parents, provides appropriate materials for parents (from their critical incident folder).
|Office Staff||Alert Year Head regarding late arrivals.|
|Plan for Return|
|Team Leader||K. Broderick (Principal)|
|Staff Liaison/Garda Liaison||P. Kelliher (Deputy Principal)|
|Counselling Coordinator||M. Kennelly (Career Guidance)|
|Students’ Liaison||A. Prendiville, E. Cosgrave, S. Moloney, N.O’Shea|
|Parents’ Liaison||K. Broderick, Veronica Ross Dowd|
|Community Liaison||K. Broderick|
|Media Liaison||K. Broderick (Principal)|
|Relevant Year Head||As appropriate|
|The following staff/agencies may be involved as the CIM team see fit:
Pastoral Care team, Student Liaison officer, NEPS, School Secretary and Caretaker
Other staff members may be asked to be part of the team as deemed appropriate.
Principal and Deputy Principal
Critical Incident Management Team
Full details of the agenda page 20&21 of Responding to Critical Incidents Guidelines for schools.
Identify high risk students. Relatives and close friends informed separately. (Children with SEN, Neighbours, refer to Pastoral Care list). Late arrivals, children who are absent.
Principal and Deputy Principal
Critical Incident Management Team
|Monitor students for signs of continuing distress||All subject teachers|
|Liaise with agencies regarding referrals||Principal, Deputy Principal, Guidance Counsellor|
|Plan for return of bereaved student(s)(R13 Guidelines)||Principal & Pastoral Care Team & Year Head|
|Plan for giving of ‘memory box’ to bereaved family||Principal, Year Head & Pastoral Care team|
|Decide on memorials and anniversaries||BOM & Pastoral Care Team|
|Review response to incident and amend plan||BOM & CIMT|
Plan for reintegration of siblings, close relatives, injured students etc., involved in the incident is developed by the Pastoral Care team and the relevant year heads.
Evaluation is a vital part of the process of maintaining a viable critical Incident Strategy. Crisis management can only develop with analysis of past incidents, feedback in the light of past responses and systematic evaluation of all protocols in place.
Issues to be aware of in the light of effective evaluation include:
Garda 999 or 112
Fire 999 or 112
Ambulance 999 or 112
Kerry Ambulance Control Centre 7121866
Tralee Garda Station 7102300 / 7122022
Tralee General Hospital 7184000 / 7126222
Tralee General Hospital Acute Unit 7184802
Health Service Executive Community Services (HSE South) 7184500
Senior Social Worker/Designated Officer 7121566
Kerry Adolescent Counselling 7181333
National Education Psychological Service 01-8738600 / 7180671
Eileen Devitt 087 9634634
Dept of Social and Family Affairs 7149500
National Education Welfare Board 01-8728600
Dept of Education 090-6483600
Dr. Anita O’Sullivan 066 7141055
Dr. Justin Joyce 066 7141044
Dr. Pat Daly 066 7121288
Dr. Anne Fleming 066 7142384
Castleisland – 066 7141204
Tralee – 066 7122022 / 7102300
Castleisland – 066 7141241
Barnados Bereavement Counselling for Children 021-4310591
The Samaritans 1850 609090
Childline 1800 666666
Parentline 1890 927277
Aware 1890 303 302
National Suicide Bereavement Support Network 024-95561
Rainbows 01 4734175
The Bereavement Counselling Service – Dublin 01-8391766
Bereavement Counselling Service 01-6767727
Tomas Kenny 064 6632644
Oliver Mawe 066 7195620
Sarah Miley 087 7020941
State Exams Commission 09064 42700
Sean O’Broin 0906 442700
KDYS Castleisland 066 7142648
|Presentation Primary School||Ms. Leona Twiss||066 7141147|
|Scartaglen Primary School||Mairead Bean Ui Bhrosnachain||066 7147104|
|Kilmurry, Cordal||Ms. Therese Kearney||066 7142356|
|Scoil Ide, Curranes||Mrs. Cait Nolan||066 7142021|
|Gael Scoil||Mr. Tomas O Connor||066 7142022|
|Castleisland Boys National School||Mr. Denis Griffin||066 7142420|
|St. Mary’s, Knocknagoshel||Ms. Maire Collins||068 46011|
|Loughfouder||Mr. M Herlihy||068 46500|
|Brosna||Ms. M. Scanlon||068 44577|
|Scoil Mhuire & Naomh Treasa||Mrs. Margaret Hanifin||066 9764616|
|Clogher||Mrs. Sinead Murphy||066 7137166|
|Nohoval||Mr. M. Bolger||066 7137516|
|St. Brendan’s N.S.||Mr. Sweeney||066 7137448|
|Flemby, Ballymacelligott||Mr. Roche|
|Firies||Ms. Eileen Brosnan||066 9764496|
|Knockaderry||Mrs. Aine Daly||066 9764729|
|ANABLA Inchcullane, Kilcummin||Mr. Paddy O’Sullivan||064 43233|
Sample Teacher Communication Text Message
It is with great sorrow that I inform you of the death of one of our student’s ______________________ in class __________, due to a car accident. This is a huge loss for ______________’s family, our school and the community. The School’s Critical Incident Management Team has met to plan our response.
Sample Teacher Communication Text Message
It is with great sorrow that I inform you of the death of one of our teacher’s _____________________due to a car accident. This is a huge loss for______________’s family, our school and the community. The School’s Critical Incident Management Team has met to plan our response.
Sample Announcement to the Media – Student Death
My name is __________________ and I am the Principal of Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland. We learned this morning of the death of________________, a __________year student in our school. This is a terrible tragedy for________________’s family, our school and the wider community. We are deeply saddened by these events. Our sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with__________________’s family and friends.
We have been in contact with her parents and they have requested that we respect their need for privacy at this very difficult time. Offers of support have been pouring in and are greatly appreciated. Our school has implemented our Critical Incident Management Plan. Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) are supporting and advising teachers in their efforts to assist our students at this time. The school staff has been helping students to deal with the death. The school has been open to parents and guardians to support them and offer advice and guidance. We would ask you to respect their privacy at this challenging time.
Sample Letter to Parents – Student Death
Over the weekend, the school learned of the sudden death of ______________, one of our students. We are all deeply saddened by this loss. The school has support structures in place to deal with this tragedy.
Our Pastoral Care team has been working closely with counsellors from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS). It is possible that your daughter may have feelings that she may like to discuss with you.You can help your daughter by taking time to listen to her and encourage her to express her feelings.
It is important to let her know that her feelings, concerns and reactions are normal and that she will experience a number of emotions over the next few days and weeks. If you have any additional questions or concerns please feel free to contact the school.
I anticipate that the next few days will be difficult for everyone, however school will continue as usual.
Sample Parent Communication Text -Student Death
Today, with great sadness we learned of the death of _____________________ one of our ___________Year students. Our thoughts and prayers are with_____________’s family and friends during this difficult time. Further communication will follow in due course.
Sample Community Notice (to be read at Mass)
The community of Castleisland is extremely saddened to hear of the death of________________ who was a ______________ year student in Presentation Secondary School.
I am sure all of us will make every effort to comfort and support _________________’s family as they attempt to come to terms with their traumatic loss. We remember her in our prayers in Mass today and we extend our heartfelt sympathies to her family, relatives, teachers and classmates.
Sample letter requesting consent for Involvement of outside Professionals
Following the recent (tragedy/death of x) we have arranged specialist support for students in the school who need particular help. (X) is available to help us with this work. The support will usually consist of talking to the students either in small groups or on a one to one basis, and offering reassurance and advice as appropriate.
Your daughter has been identified as one of the students who would benefit from meeting with (x). If you would not like your daughter to receive this support, please sign the attached slip and return it to the school by————-.
If you would like further information on the above or if you would like to talk to the psychologist, please indicate this on the slip, or contact the school.
I/We do not wish our daughter meet with ______________________
I/We understand that my daughter may meet x in an individual/group session, depending on the arrangements that are thought most appropriate.
Name of Student:_______________________________
Date of Birth: ___________________________________