Pupils could carry out terror drills
SCHOOLCHILDREN in Greater Manchester could carry out security drills in preparation for potential terror attacks in their classrooms, under government plans.
Lockdowns and evacuations may be practised to protect against other incidents, including flooding and chemical and biological emergencies.
The Department for Education has issued draft guidance for schools to help them respond to a range of threats.
A consultation published last week warns that no school can afford to ignore the risk and impact of having to deal with a range of security related incidents.
As a result, the DfE is proposing to publish new school security guidance that will provide them with access to a range of information and tools that will help to develop sensible and proportionate policies and plans.
Preventative measures could include effective screening of staff, pupils and visitors to schools for prohibited items, and effective building controls, including the ability to lock down parts of schools.
Life-saving advice showing schoolchildren what to do if they are caught up in a terror attack was made available to be taught in UK schools for the first time last November.
Young people are urged to run to safety, hide and tell police should they become involved in a gun or knife attack.
In the wake of the Manchester terror attack in May last year, police and the NSPCC issued guidance to schools and parents about how to talk to children about terrorism.
There is also a range of guidance available to schools to deal with incidents including violence and knife crime – but now the DFE has collated the guidance to make it easier for schools to consider potential risks.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “Our schools are safe places and thankfully serious incidents are extremely rare.
“It is, nevertheless, important that schools remain vigilant and prepare for potential risks.
“This proposed guidance will help schools to identify such risks and how to ensure measures are put in place to prevent or mitigate the effect of incidents occurring, whether that is a terrorist attack, knife crime or other dangerous threats,” he added.