Rainford CE Primary School Lockdown Procedure


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 all pupils and staff.


Lockdown procedures may be activated in response to any number of situations, but some of the more typical might be:

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

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

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:



Signal for lockdown

Three clear whistles if outdoor or class phone call to all classes simultaneously if indoor

Signal for all-clear

Phone call to class from office






Rooms most suitable for lockdown

All classes to remain in own classrooms

Entrance points (e.g. doors, windows) which should be secured

External doors Fire Doors Internal doors All windows

Communication arrangements

Office telephones

Preschool telephone

Class telephones



Mobile phones


If someone is taken hostage on the premises, the school should seek to evacuate the rest of the site.


Initial response - lockdown

Tick / sign / time


Ensure all pupils are inside the school building. Alternatively, ask pupils to hide or disperse if this will improve their safety

CTs responsible for own class. If needed, Reception pupils to take cover in C2 reading or writing areas.  Preschool pupils to take cover in the corridor/closing doors. Pupils in key stage 1 and 2 to seek cover under their tables.



Lock / secure entrance points (e.g. doors, windows) to prevent the intruder entering the building CT (checked by SLT)



Dial 999. Dial once for each emergency service that you require

SLT/Office Manager or administrator



Ensure people take action to increase protection from attack:

Block access points (e.g. move furniture to obstruct doorways)

Sit on the floor, under tables or against a wall Keep out of sight

Draw curtains / blinds Turn off lights

Stay away from windows and doors CTs responsible for own class



Ensure that pupils, staff and visitors are aware of an exit point in case the intruder does manage to gain access




If possible, check for missing / injured pupils, staff and visitors.




Remain inside until an all-clear has been given, or unless told to evacuate by the emergency services.


  • Staff will be alerted to the activation of the plan THREE CLEAR WHISTLES BLOWN  for pupils outdoors; all internal phones to ring and alert staff indoors.
  • Pupils who are outside of the school buildings are brought inside as quickly as possible, unless this endangers them and others. If children remain outside they will hide behind in the forest school area.
  • Those inside the school should remain in their classrooms
  • All external doors and, as necessary, windows are locked (depending on the circumstances, internal classroom doors may also need to be blocked)
  • Once in lockdown mode, staff should notify the office immediately of any pupils not accounted for via class phones. An immediate search for anyone missing should begin as soon as the all clear is given.
  • Staff should encourage the pupils to keep calm
  • As appropriate, the school office will establish communication with the Emergency Services and notify St Helens Council 674423 (Vicky Finch)
  • Parents will be notified as soon as it is practicable to do so via text messaging
  • Pupils will not be released to parents during a lockdown
  • If it is necessary to evacuate the building, the fire alarm will be sounded .



It is of vital importance that the school’s lockdown procedures are familiar to all members of the school staff. To achieve this, a lockdown drill should be undertaken at least once a year. Depending on their age, pupils should also be aware of the plan. (Regular practices will increase their familiarity).


Partial Lockdown


Alert to staff: ‘Partial lockdown’

This may be as a result of a reported incident / civil disturbance in the local community with the potential to pose a risk to staff and pupils in the school. It may also be as a result of a warning being received regarding the risk of air pollution, etc.


Immediate action:

  • All outside activity to cease immediately, pupils and staff return to building. (Staff will be alerted by three clear whistles by SLT/office )
  • All staff and pupils remain in building and external doors and windows locked
  • Movement may permitted within the building dependent upon circumstances but this must be supervised by a member of staff


All situations are different, once all staff and pupils are safely inside, senior staff will conduct an on-going and dynamic risk assessment based on advice from the Emergency Services. This can then be communicated to staff and pupils.


‘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.



In the event of an air pollution issue, air vents can 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.


Full Lockdown

Alert to staff: ‘Full lockdown’

This signifies an immediate threat to the school and may be an escalation of a partial lockdown.  The signal is THREE CLEAR WHISTLES/simultaneous calls to class phones by SLT/office staff.


Immediate action:

  • All pupils return to classroom
  • External doors locked. Classroom doors blocked
  • Windows locked, blinds drawn, pupils sit quietly out of sight (FS1 in corridor/ FS2 in C2 reading or writing areas/KS1 and KS2 under desks)
  • Register taken/head count-the office will contact each class in turn for an attendance report via mobile phone/word of mouth
  • Staff and pupils remain in lock down until it has been lifted by a senior member of staff / emergency services.
  • At any point during the lockdown, the fire alarm may sound which is a cue to evacuate the building.
  • During the lockdown, staff will keep agreed lines of communication open, mobile phones, but will not make unnecessary calls to the central office as this could delay more important communication.

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 emergency providers
  • Do not come to the school. They could interfere with emergency provider’s 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 you to come get their children, 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 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 Emergency Services depending on the severity of the incident that has triggered the Lockdown.

Emergency Services will support the decision of the Headteacher with regarding the timing of communication to parents.