Emergency planning and response

Feb 9, 2021 | Premises Posts

Making an emergency plan

The aim of an emergency plan is to help staff respond effectively to an emergency at school or on an educational visit.

Your emergency plan should be generic enough to cover a range of potential incidents that could occur, including:

  • serious injury to a pupil or member of staff (eg transport accident)
  • significant damage to school property (eg fire)
  • criminal activity (eg bomb threat)
  • severe weather (eg flooding)
  • public health incidents (eg flu pandemic)
  • the effects of a disaster in the local community

Your plan should cover procedures for incidents occurring during and outside school hours, including weekends and holidays. You should also include emergency procedures for extended services, such as breakfast clubs, after-school clubs and holiday activities.

The planning process

Preparing for emergencies is an ongoing process involving:

  • risk assessment
  • planning
  • training
  • exercises
  • reviewing

Throughout each stage of this process it is important to consult members of staff and governors to gain their involvement and support.

School emergency plan template and guidance

A school emergency plan template and accompanying guidance are available to download from Nottinghamshire County Council.

Whether you adopt the template or choose to use your own, you can use the guidance to develop appropriate arrangements for your school.


Nottinghamshire County Council has also developed resources to help train staff and run exercises, including:

  • risk assessment and planning templates
  • training materials
  • tabletop exercises

You may not need to use all of these resources in order to have an effective emergency plan, and these documents shouldn’t replace any existing arrangements your school has in place.

Your local authority may have already sent emergency planning guidance to your school. If so, please contact your local authority for advice before using these resources.

Electronic storybooks, games and puzzles to use in classroom lessons on emergency planning are also available.

The Cabinet Office has developed a single point of reference for emergency planning terminology.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/emergencies-and-severe-weather-schools-and-early-years-settings