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WELB
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Western Education & Library Board,
1 Hospital Road,
Omagh, Co Tyrone,
BT79 0AW

Telephone: 028 8241 1411
Fax: 028 8241 1400
Email: info@welbni.org
Textphone: 028 8241 1550
Press:comms@welbni.org

Critical Incident Response

What is a Critical Incident?

A critical incident may be defined as any sudden and unexpected incident or sequence of events which cause trauma within a school community and which overwhelms the normal coping mechanisms of that school.

The best preparation which schools can make is to have their own Critical Incident Policy and Management Plan in place.  This will enable them to mobilise their resources promptly and effectively.

Ideally schools should have their own critical incident team with each member having clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

Education Authority Omagh Office Critical Incident Response Team

The Education Authority Omagh Office Critical Incident Response Team can be contacted by:

  • Phone - 028 8241 1287

The role of the Education Authority Omagh Office Critical Incident Response Team is to enhance the school's pastoral care support system by providing advice, support and resources to allow the school staff to successfully manage a critical incident.

The Education Authority Omagh Office Critical Incident Response Team is managed by Sheila Gamble, Adviser, CYPS.  The team is multi-disciplinary in nature, comprising of staff from the following services:

  • Education Welfare Service.

  • Educational Psychology Service.

  • Behavioural Support Team.

  • The Communication Department; and

  • Staff Welfare Services.

All Critical Incident Response Team members are trained in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM).

When a Critical Incident Happens…..

When a critical incident happens schools can contact the Board's Critical Incident Response Team. The Critical Incident Response Team Coordinator will contact the Principal to gather the facts and arrange a school visit. On arrival to the school the Education Authority Omagh Office Critical Incident Response Team Coordinator will meet with the Principal, the School Critical Incident Coordinator and SMT to assess the school's needs. On completion of the assessment the Critical Incident Response Team Coordinator will contact other members of the Education Authority Omagh Office Critical Incident Response Team as required.

The Education Authority Omagh Office Critical Incident Response Team will provide Critical Incident advice, support and guidance such as:

  • Critical Incident Management advice and resources.

  • Assist with the media enquiries and press statements.

  • Assist with staff briefings.

  • Provide support to individual pupils, pupil groups and staff.

  • On-going support and communication throughout the Critical Incident to the Principal, Critical Incident Response Coordinator and SMT as required.

Critical Incident Management Training

'Developing a Whole School Response to Loss and Critical Incident' INSET 2 day training is available for Senior Managers and Leaders. This training provides clear advice and guidance on developing a comprehensive critical incident policy, management plan and procedures to provide an appropriate whole school response. The training also explores effective strategies to support children and young people through bereavement and loss.

If a Critical Incident happens outside working hours or the Education Authority Omagh Office Critical Incident Response Team is on route to your school we have prepared some useful information for you to action.  Please click on the this link to access the " Immediate Actions for Schools Following a Critical Incident".

Please click on the links below for information, resources and publications which you will find useful in relation to managing critical incidents in schools:

For Parents - When a Critical Incident Happens

Guide to Managing Critical Incidents in Schools

Critical Incident Leaflet SELB-WELB

Dealing with the Media

Liaison with Parents

How teachers can support pupils in school following a critical Incident

Sample Telephone Tree

School Log Sheet

Telephone Log

Visitor Record

Record of Consultation

Announcements to the Student Body

Children and Young Peoples Questions

Critical Incident Management Plan Flowchart

Teachers' draft Leaflet

Children Leaflet - When something sad happens

A Guide to Managing Critical Incidents in Schools - English Version

A Guide to Managing Critical Incidents in Schools - Irish Version

ESaGS.tv - Educational Television - A Guide to Managing Critical Incidents