Emergency Policy

The policy was originally put together by the ELC Bristol’s emergency team with the guidance of Nigel Heritage and Kevin O’Donnell, the English UK safeguarding consultants. It has been reviewed by ELC’s team with the guidance of Carl Atkins, the H&S Director at Clifton College. The format of ELC’s Emergency Plan was adapted from the Government template emergency plan.


  1. Policy Statement
  2. School Emergency Management Team (SEMT)
  3. ELC’s Control centre
  4. Off-site emergency procedures and response
  5. On-site emergency
  6. Communication
  7. Documents and keeping records
  8. Training
  9. Emergency Plan

1) Policy Statement


  • To preserve life and to reduce the risk of serious harm by having an Emergency Management Policy in place which all staff and students are aware of.
  • To have an Emergency Plan in place which sets out the steps needed to ensure that the emergency/incident is dealt with by the EMT (Emergency Management Team) as efficiently and sensitively as possible.
  • To give guidance on the range of sources of information and support available during the incident and after the incident


An incident, either on or off site, where a student, staff member or anyone connected to the school has

  • suffered a life threatening injury or fatality
  • is at serious risk of the above
  • has gone missing for a significant, unacceptable period of time.

An emergency situation can occur as the result of an incident which has consequences beyond the normal coping mechanisms of the on site school staff or the team leading an off-site visit. It could be the result of a serious road or rail crash, freak weather, a crowd that has gone out of control (e.g.violent demonstration), a serious equipment malfunction / collapse, (e.g. at a theme park, or a gas explosion), a random violent attack carried out by a lone person – or a planned terrorist attack, a bomb scare in the school or in the vicinity of the school or if a suspicious package has been delivered. Emergency Procedures should aim to cover all eventualities.


  • At ELC, we recognise the importance of carrying out risk assessments on every activity and visit and on our school buildings so that we can establish clear guidelines and strategies to react to any school related emergency.
  • We recognise the need for on-going training in emergency procedures for all staff and especially for those leading or participating in activities and on excursions. Initial training happens during inductions and staff are reminded of procedures regularly by the Director.
  • We recognize the need to ensure that there are always first-aid trained staff on every school excursion and on activities when deemed appropriate.
  • We recognise the need to ensure that administrative procedures are strictly adhered to including ensuring that we have all students’ mobile phone numbers and the emergency contact numbers for each individual student and member of staff and that excursion and activity leaders have access to this information.
  • Every member of staff must also be familiar with the school ‘NB’ lists so they are aware of which students are on medication or have other special needs and which students are under 18.
  • There is an ELC EMT (Emergency Management Team) and an established chain of command and all involved have clearly stated roles of responsibilities (See 9. Emergency Plan). This will ensure that actions, such as contact with staff, students, agents, homestays, other ELC Bristol stakeholders (HSBC), the media and any emergency agencies are handled correctly.
  • We recognise the need to keep accurate records throughout an emergency to show how things unfolded and how they were handled.

2) ELC’s Emergency Management Team

Emergency lead:

  1. John Duncan (Director)
  2. Mark Calland (Vice-Principal)
  3. Andrew Edwards (Principal)

Emergency support:

  • Ginnie Mallinson (Social Programme Manager)
  • Georgette Newcombe (Administrator)
  • ELC First Aid Team: Kate Jackson, Georgette Newcombe, Sundar Muthuganesan and Camilla Griffiths
  • Pete Clark (ELC Mental Health First Aid Team)
  • Gil Simmonds (Clifton College Emergency Incident Coordinator)
  • 3) Control centre(s)

    When/if there is an emergency incident; there will be a designated control centre where the Emergency Response is managed. Which room is used as the control centre depends on when and where the emergency happens.

    Can be: -

    • Director’s office + home
    • Principal’s home
    • Vice-Principal’s home

    Control Centres need

    • landline, mobile, email (internet/wifi)
    • Lockable door, blinds (when necessary)
    • Student data hard copy * (in case wifi/internet is down).
    • ‘Emergency Plan’ file (online and hard copy)
    • Logs

    And at weekends:

    • ‘Student visit data’. – see point 7. Details of who went on excursion (students and staff)
    • Transfer and arrival and new student details (Need info on the Friday)
    • Copy of relevant risk assessments

    *The student data includes

    • Student name
    • Student photo
    • Date of birth
    • Nationality
    • Mobile
    • email
    • Medication/NB record
    • Homestay – name + mobile
    • Emergency contact details - parent, guardian next of kin – someone who speaks English
    • ETO – name + 24-hour emergency contact
    • ELC emergency team contact details

    4) Off-site emergency procedures

    Risk assessments are in place for all activities and excursions (checked annually by Risk Assessment Manager - Andrew Varney)

    The Social Programme Organiser ensures specific risk assessments are signed off by the activity leader for each particular event before it takes place.

    All location risk assessments have the name, address and phone number of the closest A&E hospital.

    If someone goes missing and does not return to the meeting point at the allotted time, then the risk assessment will give guidance as to how long the activity leader should wait before notifying the Emergency Lead of the situation. The time will depend on the age of the student and the location (near water, busy city centre unknown to students etc).

    When security threat levels are high, the Social Programme Organiser will check venue and local authority websites. For London they will check https://tfl.gov.uk/ (major works and events page) and will consider the destination/venues’ likelihood of risk also taking into consideration one-off events including demonstrations, extreme weather, major football match and concerts.

    The Social Programme Organiser will consider alternative destinations when necessary and in case things have to be changed at the last minute, will have an alternative in mind.

    We will always have an alternative meeting point identified and students will be informed of its whereabouts before/if they disperse.

    Venues – if attending a venue (sports events, theatres, cinemas etc) the risk assessment identifies exits and a nearby emergency meeting point. Suitable safe refuges will include parks and hotels depending on the location.

    If there is more than one member of staff running the excursion/activity, identify who takes the lead role and who has the back-up role – usually the lead will be taken by a member of the ELC emergency management team.

    The activity leader will have a hard copy of the ‘student visit data’ for those students/staff on the activity/excursion), contact details of the Emergency Lead, a pen, a charged mobile, and a log report form.

    Off-site – responding to an emergency

    The exact response will depend on the situation, but if there is a terrorist attack, the aim is to preserve lives, so staff and students should all know to: ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ - in other words, get away from the danger, try to find a safe place (preferably that can be locked) and then call the emergency services (999)

    The activity leader should

    • Make sure all group members are safe – check who is with him/her.
    • Determine if any members of the group are unaccounted for. Will need to check this against the ‘student visit data’ and may need to liaise with other activity leader(s) who may be elsewhere.
    • If anyone is injured, establish extent of injuries, administer first aid when possible, treat for shock by keeping warm and reassuring
    • May be necessary for activity leader to text all members of the group to give them instructions (simultaneously if possible) – see Communications 6
    • Contact relevant emergency services – they will want to know their name, the school name, location, type of emergency, number of injured, action so far
    • Contact Control Centre - school emergency number (Registrar or Principal) or the Director, or if you can’t get through, the Vice-Principal
    • The Activity Leader or Emergency lead may need to contact all the students in the group and other staff members as quickly as possible, to advise them of the incident and the possible need to return to the original meeting point immediately, or to go immediately to the alternative pre-arranged meeting point, or to go to a safe refuge such as a known hotel. ELC has adapted its database and devised a system to send a text to everyone on the activity/excursion at the same time. See Communication – point 6.
    • Do not contact parents, agents or speak to the Media – the control centre will manage this.
    • Discourage students from taking photos or calling friends and family as misinformation and rumours can cause upset.
    • When safe, move away from scene of emergency to the pre-identified safer location
    • Start keeping records using emergency log. Record date, time, what happened and action taken, reported by and reported how (See template attached)
    • Maintain contact with control centre and emergency services (when necessary)
    • If casualties are going to hospital, ensure identified adult accompanies them, taking full medical information and any medication
    • Keep monitoring and reviewing the situation and keep Control Centre informed
    • Aim to return to group meeting place as soon as is practical.
    • Keep logging a detailed time record.

    The Control Centre – the lead should:

    • Open Emergency Plan file and follow steps for particular incident.
    • Have Emergency Lead 1 assuming control. If not able, then Lead 2 should
    • Start real-time log of all events and communications showing time, names of those involved and actions taken. Log all incoming calls about the emergency.
    • Assess situation based on information given by leader - establish extent of any injuries
    • Confirm who exactly is with the excursion lead so you can determine who has not been accounted for.
    • Identify unaccounted staff and students and establish contact. Start first with staff members, (call initially then text or WhatsApp). Establish where they are, who they are with, if they are safe, if anyone is injured (and the extent)
    • Make sure you have a complete list of whereabouts and possible injuries for everyone on the excursion/activity
    • Confirm which emergency services have been called.
    • Brief other member of ELC’s Emergency management team.
    • Determine what if any support is needed at scene of emergency. Are more staff needed to accompany casualties to hospital? How practical is it to get them there quickly? Consider calling the 24-hour emergency contacts for the other TEN schools (2 in London) or other contacts.
    • Go online to find and continually monitor information and help available in area of the emergency – for example the offer of beds, food, shelter and support.
    • Ensure everyone at the emergency site has enough sustenance to keep going.
    • Prepare for the return of the students – how will they get home? Bus, train, taxis?
    • Do they need food, drink, medication or cash? Decide how to get it to them.
    • Contact accommodation providers so they are at home and prepared to receive them
    • When everything is under control, inform all stakeholders including parents, emergency contacts, agents, other members of staff – focus on the many acts of kindness that happened rather than the unpleasantness
    • Consider emotional needs and arrange for counselling for students and staff which may be required immediately and/or later on – refer to ELC’s welfare and mental health teams and contact ELC’s native speaker counsellors (see attached list)
    • Collect all records and compile in a coherent way
    • Certain injuries and events have to be reported to HSE (the Government’s Health and Safety Executive). These guidelines are explained by RIDDOR (reporting of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences regulations 2013 - see: www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/reportable-incidents.htm 
    • Review emergency procedures – did those involved feel they had sufficient information, support and training
    • Share lessons with TEN and other ELT providers.

    5) On-site emergency procedures

    ELC has a fire safety and emergency evacuation plan in place for when students and staff have to exit the school buildings as quickly as possible. Procedures are explained to new staff during their induction and there is refresher training during Friday staff meetings. This could be in case of fire, or of a bomb threat to the school or of a suspicious package being discovered in one of the school buildings. The assembly points, which are known to all staff and students, are on the grass verge on the Avenue. There are regular drills with evacuation procedures and staff know to check student registers.

    Please note that in the case of an emergency, the internal lift must not be used. If there is a student or a member of staff in a wheelchair, they should always work or be taught on the ground floor. They should then leave the building via the external ramp/lift by the front door on the Avenue (teachers' room) side of the building.

    If a disabled person wants to go go to the basement, (maybe to go to the canteen or use the disabled toilets) he/she can use the lift but a PEEP (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan) must be in place so that he/she can safely exit the building.

    There are fire refuge call points on each floor of the building. Staff are aware of where these points are and if there are any problems during an evacuation, the Fire Marshalls should use these call points to call the area custodian to inform them about the situation.

    ELC also has ‘lockdown’ procedures in place for when we have to keep the staff and students safe inside our school building. The main entrance to the school is overlooked by the school office so our staff can see anyone who wants to come in. Visitors can only gain access by ringing the door bell. When the bell is rung, a camera comes on automatically and shows the person ringing the bell. Students and staff know not to let anyone tailgate them into the building and the admin team know not to buzz anyone in unless they know the person if the person has a plausible reason to enter and they give the name of the person they are meeting.

    If we believe there is a potential problem, we use the thumb locks to secure the 2 front doors.

    In the Summer Centre, students can only enter at the rear of the building. Again there is a locked gate with an access code and then the main back door is kept locked with a second access code.

    In case of an incident, the first person we call is Gil Simmonds, Clifton College's Emergency incident Co-ordinator. The second number is 999 and the 3rd number is the sports centre number.

  • Admin staff go to each floor advising staff and students that a lockdown is in place and making sure they drop the blinds and stay away from the windows.
  • Students told not to collect personal belongings from other rooms at this stage.
  • Students remain in their classrooms or return to their classrooms if the incident takes place in break times.
  • Teachers take a register of all students in their class. The names of anyone (staff or student) not in the school building must be noted and reported to the crisis management lead in each building
  • Staff and students off site are contacted and told not to return to the Centre until advised otherwise.
  • Exit from the building should be discouraged – the name(s) of anyone insisting on leaving should be noted in the register
  • Lead liaises with the second lead and the other emergency support members in our other school buildings.
  • Notify the appropriate emergency services. Seek advice.
  • Go online to find updates of the situation in the area
  • In the event of a chemical emergency, turn off the heating.
  • Wait for the all clear from a credible source before advising staff and students that it is safe to go home
  • Notify stakeholders appropriately
  • If an intruder has accessed the building (either a student has let him in or he has been mistakenly buzzed through by the office staff), students and staff are trained to keep in mind the stay safe principles of Run, Hide and Tell, so if they become aware that there is an intruder, if possible, they should get away through the second exit door.
  • Lights should be turned off and mobiles put on silent – everyone should be as quiet as possible and remain there until notified it is safe to come out by known staff
  • The person responsible for declaring the lockdown reversal (normally a member of the emergency team) should only do so having consulted the police
  • Staff should provide reassurance to students at this stage.
  • The lead should fill out the emergency log as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.
  • Together with the other members of the emergency team, the lead should consider the emotional needs of students and staff and should arrange for counselling – refer to ELC’s welfare and mental health teams and contact ELC’s native speaker counsellors.
  • The lead should inform all stake holders including parents, agents, homestay providers and all staff whether or not teaching at the school at that time. See guidance given in ‘Communication’
  • 6) Communication

    How we communicate and who we communicate with is key for the reputation of the school and the welfare of those affected by the incident. We need the communication to be professional, supportive, appropriate, factual and speedy. The detail of what is communicated will depend on who you are communicating with. Prepare factual and reassuring (if possible) statements. No conjecture. No personal opinions. No rambling - brief communication is better.

    During an excursion/activity. To enable an activity leader to send an urgent text message to everyone on an excursion simultaneously, he/she cuts and pastes all the student mobile phone numbers from the ‘student visit data’ stored on our database onto the social programme mobile iphone (it doesn’t work on other phones). To check it is working, the leader sends a text before the excursion reminding students of the departure time and not to be late. This way the group phone numbers for any particular excursion/activity are all stored on the school i-phone in advance so everyone can get an urgent message immediately without the need to input the numbers again.

    After an incident, the telephone is the best method for the Emergency Lead to commincate with key stakeholders, particularly with the families and agents of those involved. Email can be used to communicate with stakeholders not personally involved.

    Be prepared to give regular updates.

    Emergency lead will need assistance from the other members of the Emergency team to disseminate information.

    Who to contact? (preferably in this order)

    • Directors, the Principal , then the Vice-Principal - make sure they are informed immediately, then inform all members of ELC’s Emergency Response team as you will need their help.
    • Next of kin + ETOs (agents) of any serious casualties
    • Next of kin and agents of non-serious casualties
    • Email to all other agents whose students were not involved. All staff - quick email giving need-to-know information – tell them not to talk to any outside organisations and always refer the press to the emergency lead
    • Students – all students in the school at the time
    • Homestays
    • Residential staff
    • For all students in their own accommodation, inform their house mates.
    • Email to other schools, English UK forum, TEN, IALC and QE.
    • Carefully worded messages on ELC’s social media

    The Media

    The Emergency Lead (the Director) must be prepared and ready to communicate with the press. In the absence of the Director, the following chain of responsibility will be followed:

    1) Principal, 2)Vice-Principal

    With the press, it is very important to be factual and positive (if possible). Remember - no conjecture, no personal opinions, no rambling - brief communication is better.

    Points to note when dealing with the media

    • Consult with English UK Helpline before making any comment or releasing a statement
    • Try to have another person with you, to monitor the interview
    • If possible, agree an interview format i.e. establish what the interviewer wants to ask
    • Be prepared to think on your feet, but try to decide beforehand what you want to say. Do not read it out from a script
    • Remember you could be quoted on anything you say to a journalist, even if it is not part of the formal interview
    • Be prepared to say you cannot comment
    • Do not over elaborate.
    • Refuse requests for photographs
    • Check where the interview/camera team go when the interview is over.

    For more guidance, see Emergency Plan file for guidance - section 3.33 and appendix 6

    7) Documents and keeping records

    Vital so that emergencies can be handled effectively. Kept in the ELC s-drive. The Emergency Leaders also have a hard copy at home. Activity Leaders have a hard copy of the ‘student visit data’ with them when they go on an excursion/activity.

    Emergency Plan

    adapted from Nottinghamshire County Council Government Template Emergency Plan includes the following documents -

    • Brief description of ELC Bristol
    • Emergency contact details. Includes staff emergency contacts (next of kin), native speaker contacts, Embassies and Consulates, emergency contact details for other TEN school directors
    • Risk assessment summary including staff student ratios policy
    • Outline of ELC’s Emergency Team. Lines of command and roles and responsibilities
    • Procedure reminder for lead in case of off-site emergency
    • Response procedures for full and partial lockdowns
    • Procedures/ guidance for evacuation, lockdown, school closure, bomb threats, suspicious packages, log keeping
    • Student visit data – summary of hard copy information held by activity leaders and emergency leads for excursions/activities includes student name, student reference #, dob, nationality, mobile, medication/NBs, emergency contact details, accom contact details.
    • 24 hour contact numbers for TEN (the English Network) schools’ directors in London and Cambridge (WSE, Excel and CAE)
    • Emergency contact details – staff emergency contacts (next of kin), Embassies and Consulates
    • Arrangements for additional staffing if emergency goes on for more than 4 hours
    • HSE (Health and Safety Executive) RIDDOR document (regulations for reporting)
    • Emergency Response Risk Assessment and Action Plan

    Pre-visit Documents – hard copy information given to staff before going on activity (and held by the emergency lead)

    • Risk assessment for specific visit (includes nearest A&E information)
    • Student visit data
    • Emergency Log blank template – records kept in the s-drive (password protected)
    • Emergency management document for off-site staff – summary of section 4 – guidance for activity leaders during off-site excursion/activity
    • Emergency contact details


    8) Emergency Response Training

    • Emergency Lead attends English UK Emergency Management training with Kevin O’Donnell
    • Emergency Lead runs training session with Emergency Management Team
    • Vice-Principal rolls out Emergency Training to all teachers in Friday Teachers meeting and with all new teachers as part of their Induction.
    • Director (Emergency Lead) runs Emergency training session with all Admin staff)
    • Admissions Officer runs through Emergency Management with all new Admin staff
    • Emergency procedures are an insert in school files given to new students on day 1
    • Social Programme Organiser plays the 2 different alarm sounds to new students as part of their induction on day 1. (Fire Alarm – for evacuate and Emergency alarm for lockdown). Everyone must be able to recognise the difference and to know to follow different procedures.
    • Emergency procedures and students and staff awareness of what to do in an emergency situation are audited annually by Nigel Heritage as part of ELC’s annual safeguarding audit. Training adjusted according to results and new requirements.
    • Annual Emergency refresher training for all staff.
    • Annual refresher training for ELC’s 2 First Aid trained staff and 1 Mental Health First Aid trained staff

    9) Emergency Plan

    There are 4 copies of the Emergency Plan. 1 is kept in the Director's office at 1 The Avenue (room 201) and 1 is kept in the homes of the Emergency Leads - the Director, Principal and Vice-Principal.
    The plan is a detailed documents and guidance about procedures to follow in case there is an emergency.
    Policy procedures and documents reviewed annually, or after an incident, by ELC’s Emergency Management team and by Clifton College's Head of Health and Safety