School Lockdown Policy

Key staff involved in the lockdown policy and procedures:






Mr M Pearson

Site Manager


Deputy Headteacher



Lockdown Procedures


Although it is important to be prepared and have Lockdown procedures in place, it is vital that students’ welfare is considered throughout. Alarming/concerning students when unnecessary may cause them to become scared and develop a fear of going to school. The Reception team may be the first to hear about an emergency, students may be sharing on social media, which may raise other concerns.


Areas that may cause concern and trigger a “lockdown” 

  • Bomb threats
  • Hostage situations
  • Firearm/Knife conflicts


ALWAYS: – Reassure staff, students and parents.


Partial Lockdown – this is a precautionary measure but puts the school in a state of readiness (whilst retaining a degree of normality), should the situation escalate.


May be as a result of:

  • A reported incident / civil disturbance in the local community with the potential to pose a r risk to staff and students in the school.
  • A threat received by the school, ECC, media etc.
  • A warning being received regarding the risk of air pollution (In the event of air pollution, air vents should be closed (where possible) as an additional precaution. Emergency Services will advise as to the best course of action in respect of the prevailing threat).


Immediate Action:

  • Upon hearing a continuous lesson changeover bell (not the fire alarm), all outside activity to cease immediately, student and staff return to the building.
  • All staff and students remain in the building and external doors and windows are to be locked.
  • SLT not teaching/supervising students make their way to the main office.
  • Free movement may be permitted within the building dependent upon circumstances.
  • In the event of an air pollution or chemical, biological or radiological contaminants issue, air vents, fans, heating and air conditioning systems should be closed or turned off.
  • Use anything to hand to seal up all the cracks around doors and any vents into the room to minimise the possible ingress of pollutants.
  • Staff should await further instructions.


Once all staff and students are safely inside, senior staff will conduct an ongoing and dynamic risk assessment based on advice from the Emergency Services, which should then be communicated to staff and students.


Full Lockdown – this signifies an immediate threat to the school and may be an escalation of a partial lockdown.


Immediate action:

  • Upon hearing a continuous lesson changeover bell (not the fire alarm), All students and staff stay in their classroom or move to the nearest classroom.
  • Office staff should remain in their office. All other staff should move to the

nearest office or classroom.

  • External doors to be locked by Site Staff. Classroom doors to be locked from the inside.
  • Windows to be locked, blinds drawn and internal windows covered if feasible (so that an intruder cannot see in).
  • Students/staff sit quietly out of sight and where possible in a location that would protect them from gunfire. This would be under the desks in a normal classroom. Individuals with mobility problems should be seated out of view from the windows.
  • Lights, computer monitors and projectors to be turned off.
  • Mobile phones to be turned off or on to silent.
  • A register to be taken of all students/staff in each classroom/office.
  • Communicate register to attendance team via email.
  • Staff should await further instructions.

 Staff and students remain in lock down until it has been lifted by a senior member of staff/emergency services (see below Ending a Lockdown) 


During lockdown, staff will keep agreed lines of communication open but not make unnecessary calls to the central office as this could delay more important communications.


Bomb Threat – upon receiving a message that a bomb has been planted in school. 


Immediate Action:

  • Ask questions such as: where the bomb is located, when the bomb will go off, what materials are in the bomb, who is calling, why the caller is doing this.
  • Listen closely to caller’s voice and speech patterns and to noises in the background – Notify the Headteacher/most senior member of staff.
  • Headteacher/most senior member of staff orders evacuation of all persons inside the building(s).
  • Headteacher/most senior member of staff notifies police (call 999)


Evacuation Procedures:

  • Headteacher/most senior member of staff warns students and staff (do not mention “Bomb Threat”).


Use standard fire drill procedures:

  • Students and staff must be evacuated to a safe distance outside of school building(s).
  • Teachers take register after being evacuated.
  • No-one may re-enter the building(s) until the entire building(s) is declared safe by fire or police service.
  • Headteacher/most senior member of staff notifies students and staff of termination of emergency.


Where examinations are taking place:


If a lockdown is required as candidates are entering/waiting to enter the exam room, the following procedure will be employed:


Immediate Action:

  • Candidates will be instructed to enter the exam room immediately or
  • Evacuate the examination room in line with the instructions given by the appropriate authority.
  • Make sure that the candidates are supervised as closely as possible while they are out of the examination room to make sure there is no discussion about the examination.
  • Make a note of the time of the interruption and how long it lasted.
  • Make a full report of the incident and of the action taken and send to the relevant awarding body.
  • Candidates will be instructed to remain silent, hide under exam desks or sit against a wall/around a corner but not near the door.
  • The Exams Officer will collate the information from all exam rooms and forward this to the Head of Centre immediately.


For further information regarding examination roles and responsibilities please refer to Lockdown Policy – Exams.


Ending a lockdown 

The lockdown will be ended by either a member of senior staff relaying instructions in person or by the use of the school’s motto which will become the safe phrase “to learn and to care” via email, or by emergency services personnel only.