Lockdown Procedures


Chichester High School Lockdown Procedures

Lockdown procedures should be seen as a sensible and proportionate response to any external or internal incident which has the potential to pose a threat to the safety of staff and pupils in the school.  Procedures should aim to minimise disruption to the learning environment whilst ensuring the safety of students and staff.  However it must be remembered that in the case of a security threat the aim is to protect the majority, we cannot protect everyone.

Lockdown procedures may be activated in response to any number of situations, such as:

  • A reported incident/civil disturbance in the local community (with the potential to pose a risk to staff and students in the school)

  • An intruder on the school site (with the potential to pose a risk to staff and students in the school)

  • A warning being received regarding a risk locally of air pollution (smoke plume, gas cloud etc)

  • A major fire in the vicinity of the school

  • The close proximity of a dangerous dog roaming loose.

The school’s lockdown plan is as follows:

  1. On hearing of a potential threat, any member of staff should inform the Headteacher or a member of SLT

  2. The most senior member of staff on site will make the decision whether a lockdown is appropriate

  3. The senior leader will ensure that the emergency services are called as appropriate to the incident.  Depending on the location of the intruder, a member of staff (eg Main office, Head’s PA, Business Manager, APSM etc) will establish communication with the Emergency Services and TKAT as directed by the senior leader.  

  4. The lockdown alarm will be triggered and a message will be sent to staff via SENSO, email and over radios to inform staff that the school is in lockdown.  Once the lockdown alarm is triggered doors with Paxton controls will automatically lock. Tim Peake Centre to be contacted.

  5. Staff should lock the doors to their rooms, close windows and blinds/curtains and remain in silence until the all clear is given.

  6. Teachers should remain with their class, locking the classroom door, closing windows, blinds and curtains, if there are no blinds, take appropriate cover.  Teachers should encourage students to remain calm and maintain silence.

  7. Students must not use mobile phones unless they are not with a member of staff and they are calling the police with direct knowledge of an intruder.

  8. For increased protection from attack:

  9. Block access points (eg move furniture to obstruct doorways)

  10. Sit on floor, under tables or against a wall

  11. Keep out of sight

  12. Turn off lights

  13. Stay away from windows and doors

  14. Remain inside until the all-clear has been given (via SENSO/email/radio) or unless told to evacuate by the emergency services.  

  15. Students and staff who are outside the building should go to a safe refuge.  In the case of air pollution or an intruder on the grounds they should return to the nearest building. they should be escorted to their designated classrooms and accounted for using a register.  In the case of an intruder in the buildings they should go to the west end of the playing fields as close to the police station as possible.

  16. At any point during the lockdown, the fire alarm may sound which is a cue to evacuate the buildings.

All situations are different.  Senior staff will conduct an on-going and dynamic risk assessment based on the advice from the Emergency Services.  This can then be communicated to staff and students.

Partial Lockdown

Partial lockdown is a precautionary measure but puts the school in a state of readiness (whilst retaining a degree of normality) should the situation escalate.  It may be necessary to have a partial lockdown for example in the case of air pollution.  In this case the same procedure as above will be put in place but staff and students will be able to move freely about the buildings but may not be able to go outside.  Windows, doors and, if possible, air vents should be closed.  The Emergency Services will advise as to the best course of action in respect of the threat.

Communication between parents and the school

School lockdown procedures, especially arrangements for communicating with parents, will be routinely shared with parents either by newsletter or via the school website.

In the event of an actual lockdown, any incident or development will be communicated to parents as soon as is practicable.  Parents should be given enough information about what will happen so that they:

  • Are reassured that the school understands their concern for their child’s welfare, and that it is doing everything possible to ensure his/her safety

  • Do not need to contact the school.  Calling the school could tie up telephone lines that are needed for contacting the emergency services.

  • Do not come in to school.  They could interfere with the emergency services’ access to the school and may even put themselves and others in danger.

  • Wait for the school to contact them about when it is safe for them to collect their child and where this will be from.


Parents will be told

‘… the school is in a full lockdown situation.  During this period the switchboard and entrances will be un-manned, external doors locked and nobody allowed in or out…’

Emergency Services

It is important to keep lines of communication open with the Emergency Services as they are best placed to offer advice as a situation unfolds.  The school site may or may not be cordoned off by the Emergency Services depending on the severity of the incident that has triggered the lockdown.  Information from the Emergency Services will support the decision of the Headteacher regarding the timing of communication to parents.

In the event of a prolonged lockdown or more severe scenario, a Reception Centre will be set up for friends and family outside of the cordoned area with the support of TKAT.

In the case of an intruder armed with a gun

If an intruder enters the school armed with a gun the lockdown procedure is still appropriate.  

The advice is RUN, HIDE, TELL. Hide wherever possible, remaining out of sight and silent, locking yourself into a room, cupboard etc if you can, away from windows and doors.  Stay hidden until the police tell you it is ok to leave.    

HERE is a useful webpage - What to do in a Weapons Attack