School Lockdown Guidance

School Lockdown Guidance

This is a summary of that guidance that is relevant to education, along with explanations and areas to consider relating to certain areas of the guidance.

Developing a Lockdown Solution
Response to a Fast Moving Incident

What is Lockdown?

The ability to secure an area or building.

Why Develop Lockdown?

Not all preventative measures work, sometimes deterrents such as CCTV or visible security do not deter certain people. In this eventuality it is vitally important to have processes and procedures in place to reduce casualties.

Remember advanced planning does not hurt and can save lives.


Identify all access pints to the buildings and property

Identify if possible how to secure these access points, if it is not possible to secure these entry points include in your emergency plan how best to address this.

How can you section your property / campus?

Identify who has what roles and what responsibilities in the event of an incident.

Identify who must be trained and how often

How will you stop people from entering and leaving the site?

What equipment will you use to assist with a Lockdown, identify its points of failure if any and make others aware. Ideally include this information in your emergency plan.

Should your Lockdown procedure have a three level alert? At times you may have incidents that are outside and adjacent to the campus / building such as a fire in a building close by, an incident of disorder outside the main entry point) where a full lockdown is not appropriate, but you still need to ensure the safety of all persons on your property.

How to Let People Know

Identify what the best solution is to let people in your buildings / campus know there is an incident and how will you notify them

Do you have a PA System and can it be used for notifications without being manned?

Do you have a Lockdown Alert Notification, is this an audible instruction opposed to a siren or alarm, remember sirens and alarms can be confused evacuation and fire alarms and you should not confuse people in an emergency situation?

Word of Mouth, during training ensure everyone is taught to inform others that may be heading in to danger.

Training Staff

Understand the principles of “Stay Safe”

Ensure all staff know what is expected of them.

Check staff understanding, never assume they understand.

Regularly re-text, ensure staff and pupils understand what to do in a Lockdown, assess how often they need to have a practice drill – Is annually enough, do you have many staff and pupil changes during the normal year?

Fire Arms and Weapons Attack

Always adhere to the “Stay Safe Principle’s” of Run, Hide & Tell

Leave belongings behind, reinforce with children it’s not safe to go back to get belongings.

Ensure your emergency plan and training addresses Run, Hide & Tell and how these principles should be used.

Find cover from Gunfire
If you can see an attacker, they can see you!
Bullets go through glass, doors, wood, metal, walls, brick etc…
Avoid dead ends, try not to get trapped.
Be quiet, put all phones on silent.
Lock barricade doors
Move away from the door

Call 999 – have multiple designated people to call, do not assume someone else has called. If in doubt call, but be aware sound might give an attacker your position.

Things the Police need to know:

Location of suspects
Any description of suspects
Any direction you are aware of them heading
Further information – Casualties, Injuries, Hostages
Stop / Prevent people entering the premises.

When Armed Police Arrive

Follow all instructions
Remain calm
Avoid sudden movements
Keep hands in view

Be aware that officers might

Point guns at you
Treat you firmly
Question you
Be unavailable to distinguish you from an attacker
Give you instructions

You Must Stay Safe

Know and understand your emergency plan and procedures

Understand your own Personal Emergency Plan.

Further Resources

National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO)
View the full .pdf guidance document here.

School Lockdown Guidance