Critical Incident Policy




In St John the Baptist National School we aim to protect the well being of our pupils and staff by providing a safe, tolerant and well catered for environment as outlined in our school Vision Statement.


The Board of Management through the Principal, the Staff and the Parent/Teacher Association has drawn up a critical Incidents Management Team to steer the development and implementation of the plan.




Recognising that the key to managing critical incidents is planning, St John the Baptist NS has developed this Critical Incident Policy and accompanying plan.  Our hope is that, in the event of an incident, this will help the staff to react quickly and effectively and to maintain a sense of control. This should also help us to achieve a return to normality as soon as possible and ensure that the effects on the children and staff will be limited. 


What is a Critical Incident?


‘A critical incident is any incident or sequence of events which overwhelms the normal coping mechanism of the school and disrupts the running of the school’.




  • Death, major illness/outbreak of disease (Foot & Mouth)
  • Criminal incidents (e.g. Dunblane shooting, Shooting at first communion in Ballymun.)
  • Major accidents, serious injury (e.g. ‘Navan bus crash’)
  • Suicide
  • Civil unrest, war (foreign nationals may be traumatised by events that happened in their country of origin)
  • Fire, natural and technological disaster (e.g. school ceiling collapsing in Cork)
  • Disappearance of student from home or school (e.g. Midleton incident in Cork)
  • Unauthorised removal of student from school or home.
  • World events that may affect the student body and/or staff.  May be a need for provision of discussion and involvement in ceremonies e.g. 9/11, tsunami.
  • Major classroom disruption eg child out of control. 


Preventative Approaches:


We have put systems in place to lessen the probability of the occurrence of an incident.  These include measure to address both the physical and psychological safety of both staff and students.


  • Regular Fire Drills occur.
  • Fire exits and extinguishers are regularly checked.School doors locked during class time.
  • Playground Supervision
  • Health and safety Policy
  • SPHE programmes are included in the curriculum to address issues such as grief and loss, communication skills, stress and anger management, conflict management, problem solving, help-seeking, decision making, and alcohol and drug prevention.
  • Our Discipline Policy includes an approach to bullying.
  • Staff are informed of difficulties affecting individual students and are aware and vigilant to their needs.
  • The school has developed links with outside agencies, which may be contacted in the event of an emergency and for onward referral of students.
  • RSE programme.
  • Garda Vetting Process.


Critical Incident Management Team:


Team Leader: Principal

Staff Liaison: Deputy Principal

Children Liaison: Resource teacher/BOM designate

Family/Community Liaison: Parish Rector

Media Liaison: Principal


Roles and Responsibilities:


Short term action (Day 1)


Task Name
Gather accurate information CIM team
Immediate contact with family/families Family/Community liaison
Consult with the family regarding the appropriate support from the school Family/ Community liaison
Contact appropriate agencies Team leader
Convene a meeting with staff/students/parents Staff liaison
Ensure that a quiet place can be made in the school for children/staff Team leader
Deal with media Media liaison


24-72 Hours


Task Name
Review events of the first 24 hours CIM team/staff
Arrange supports for children/staff Staff liaison
Plan visit to injured/ bereaved Family/community liaison
Liaise with family re funeral arrangements Family/ community liaison
Attendance/ participation at funeral Family/community liaison/ Staff
School closure BOM
Deal with media Media liaison


Beyond 72 hours


Task Name
Monitoring children  Staff
Evaluate response to incident CIM team
Inform new staff Team leader
Amend/formalise Critical Incident Policy for the future BOM
Decide on appropriate ways to deal with anniversaries CIM team


Emergency Contact List


Outside Agency Contact Numbers
GARDA 4621550
HOSPITAL 4922000 (CUH)

4920200 -Emergency

LOCAL GPS Dr Doran 4883176



Mid-Munster (Mahon)

INTO 1850 708708


PARISH PRIEST / CLERGY Dean Green 087-2620054


Useful Contact Numbers


BARNARDOS 01-4530355
THE SAMARITANS 021 4271323

1850 609090

CHILDLINE 08001111
PARENTLINE 1890 927277
AWARE 1800804848
RAINBOWS 01 4734175


Ratified by the Board of Management Nov 2018