Pupils could carry out ter­ror drills

Glossop Advertiser - - News - Nina Massey & Stu­art Greer

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.

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