Enhanced Safety Protocol at Strood Academy – Module 1, 2023/24

Dear Parents/Carers,

At Strood Academy, we take safeguarding and safety very seriously. It is important that we continue to review all our procedures, taking into account even those events that are very unlikely to occur. As part of this process, we are planning to rehearse our onsite lockdown procedure. We will be speaking to all pupils in assembly and tutor time about the reasons why we might need to have this in place. We will emphasise the unlikeliness of either actually occurring, but, in the same way we practise fire drills, an ‘onsite lockdown’ practice is a necessary precaution.

We recognise we have many children with SEND and we are ensuring they are fully aware of the process and will ensure we reduce any concerns or worries they may have.

I am writing to inform you that we will be practising an onsite lockdown during Module 1. This is a Leigh Academies Trust expectation for all academies to practise this procedure. We will be sharing this with students w/b 25th September within College assemblies and the tutor time programme to ensure all pupils are explicitly clear of the expectations.

Onsite Lockdown

a.) What is an ‘onsite lockdown’ and when would we carry it out?

A lockdown procedure is a standard health and safety procedure, similar to a fire drill. Our lockdown procedure would be used when there is a threat to the safety of students, staff and others in the academy, and when it is safer for everyone to remain in the academy rather than evacuate. The aim is to keep people safe by confining them to a secure place of safety.

b.) Situations where our lockdown procedure may be used include:

  • A potentially dangerous person or animal on the academy site
  • A disturbance or dangerous situation in the local community that could affect the academy
  • A nearby chemical incident or other risk of air pollution
  • An incident related to terrorism

c.) Our lockdown procedure is as follows:

  • A tannoy announcement will sound throughout the academy informing pupils we are going into a lockdown procedure.
  • Students will remain in classrooms and be directed away from doors
  • Students are asked to remain calm, quiet and sensible.
  • Await instructions to be dismissed
  • A reminder that mobile phones cannot be used at any point throughout the academy day.
  • In a PE lesson, a dynamic risk assessment will be carried out by the PE staff to ensure pupil safety is paramount.

d.) Instructions for parents in the event of a real onsite lockdown situation:

  • Parents will be notified once the lockdown procedure has been concluded.
  • Parents should not attempt to call or come to the academy, as this may hinder the academy’s effort to contact and work with the emergency services
  • Parents should not discuss the event on social media, as this may spread false information and create panic

What you can do to help

To reassure your child, please take time to talk to them about ‘onsite lockdown’ procedures and explain why they are important. After the practice, our staff will reassure pupils that they are safe, and will emphasise that practising procedures like this will make sure the academy remains a safe place to learn.

I must stress again we are simply practising, so that in the very unlikely event of such a situation, our students and staff are fully prepared.

If you or your child have any further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact their college teams.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Jon Richardson