Principal News – 30 May 2019
Last week the Beaconsfield Campus had an emergency lockdown situation.
The staff and students responded very well and the matter was ultimately managed by the Victoria Police. They acted calmly and respectfully in their many dealings with our community. Additionally, they were very complimentary about how well the process worked from their perspective.
I know that there were some elements which certainly did not work perfectly, and the College immediately (as in that afternoon) commenced the process of identifying which parts of our plan needed to be improved upon.
And this work has begun already especially around the design of alarm and alerts systems.
For your benefit I would like to lay out a short version of the plan which has a number of safety layers:
When an emergency arises, a member of the senior Campus leadership determines the appropriate response to the particular event.
The steps that we generally follow when a lockdown is required are as follows:
- An announcement over the PA indicating that the campus is to move into lockdown mode as previously practised in termly drills.
- An email with the same message is sent to all staff of the campus.
- Relevant emergency services are called.
- The Administration Managers at the other campuses are informed. The Principal, who may or may not be on that particular campus, is also informed and he in turn informs the Diocese of Sale.
- Trained staff then move around the campus checking that all buildings are secure and staff and students are safe.
- Staff on classroom duty, without leaving their area or students, scan the nearby rooms to check that groups are both aware of the lockdown and are following the correct procedure.
- Any issues are immediately reported to a special purpose email address which is constantly monitored by a nominated admin staff member.
- Email status updates, 3 in the first 10 minutes and then every 10 minutes after that, are sent to all staff.
- When advised by the emergency services personnel the lockdown can be concluded. Once emergency services enter the campus they assume control of the situation.
- After the emergency services leave the campus, handing control back to College staff, briefings are conducted with students and staff.
- As much information as has been approved by emergency services will be shared with the campus community.
- Support services are offered to all staff and students.
- As soon as practicable thereafter, communication is sent to parents and carers via email.
- The following day briefings are held to check on the impact of the event.
- Additionally, Heads of House check on all the students in their care and again make offers of counselling and other support.
- As further information is available, parents are again communicated with.
Some parents have made contact and expressed their gratitude for the way in which staff demonstrated their professional care of our students, and I too am grateful.
I also trust that the above step by step explanation is helpful to all community members.