Critical Incident Policy



Scoil Íde aims to protect the well-being of its students by providing a safe and nurturing
environment at all times. Scoil Íde has taken a number of measures to create a coping,
supportive and caring ethos in the school. The school has also formulated a number of
policies and procedures to be followed with a view to ensuring the physical and
psychological safety of staff and students, both in ordinary time and in the event of a critical
incident. The Board of Management in consultation with the Principal and school staff, has
drawn up a Critical Incident Management Plan (CIMP) as one element of the school’s policies
and plans.

Review and Research
There are a number of documents available to schools which can be accessed on and These include:
● Responding to Critical Incidents: NEPS Guidelines and Resource Materials for Schools
(NEPS 2016)
● Suicide Prevention in Schools: Best Practice Guidelines (IAS, National Suicide Review
Group 2002)
● Suicide Prevention in the Community-A Practical Guide (HSE 2011)
● Well-Being in Primary Schools-Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion (DES, DOH,
HSE 2015)

What is a Critical Incident?
Scoil Íde recognises a critical incident to be “an incident or sequence of events that
overwhelms the normal coping mechanism of the school and disrupts the running of the
school”. Critical incidents may involve one or more pupils, staff, the school, or our local
community. Types of incidents might include:

● The death of a member of the school community through sudden death, accident,
terminal illness or suicide.
● An intrusion into the school.
● An accident/tragedy in the wider school community.
● Serious damage to the school building through fire, flood, vandalism etc.
● The disappearance of a member of the school community.
● An accident involving members of the school community.

Aim of the Critical Incident Management Plan
The aim of the CIMP is to help the school management and staff react quickly and
effectively in the event of an incident, to enable us to maintain a good sense of control and
to ensure that appropriate support is offered to students and staff. Having a good plan
should also help ensure that the impact on students and staff will be limited. It should help
us to effect a return to normality as soon as possible.

Creation of a coping supportive and caring ethos in the school.
We have put systems in place to lessen the probability of the occurrence of an incident
within the school. These include measures to address both the physical and psychological
safety of both staff and students.

Physical Safety:

● Health and Safety Policy
● Code of Behaviour
● Anti-Bullying Policy
● Evacuation Drills
● Safety Procedures
● Supervision rota

Psychological Safety:

● SPHE plan including RSE and Stay Safe policies
● Staff are familiar with the Child Protection Procedures and the name of the
Designated Liaison Person/Deputy Designated Liaison Person
● Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policies

● Restorative practices approach to dealing with behavioural issues/conflict
● Staff are informed of difficulties affecting individual students and are aware and
vigilant to their needs
● Staff have access to books and resources on difficulties affecting the primary school
● The school has developed links with outside agencies, which may be contacted in the
event of an emergency and for onward referral of students e.g. An Garda Síochána,
NEPS, CAMHS, Bluebox, Tusla, Barnardos.Children’s Grief Centre

Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT)
Scoil Íde has set up a CI Management Team in line with best practice and will maintain this
team in future. The members of the team are part of the Senior Management Team in the
school. The members of the team will meet once a year to review and update the plan.
Each member of the team has a Ready-to-Go Pack with relevant materials to be used in the
event of an incident.

Critical Incident Management Team: Contact Details (Role: Name Phone email)

Team Leader Ray D’Arcy 086-3814223

Garda Liaison Ray D’Arcy 086-3814223

Staff Liaison Ray D’Arcy ( 086-3814223) & Tom Hartney (087 6824903)

Student Liaison Niamh O’Connor (087-2045956) at Suzanne Noble (085-7248424)

Parent/Guardian Liaison

Anne O’ Brien 086-8936782 Associated staff

Community/Agency Liaison

Tom Hartney 087 6824903

Media Liaison

Ray D’Arcy 086-3814223


Secretary: Elaine Flannery  061 345495

Parish Priest Fr. Richie Davern 087 2977500

Substitute Staff in the event that a member of the CIMT is unavailable to report for duty

CIMT Member Substitute

Ray D’Arcy  – Tom Hartney
Tom Hartney-  Suzanne Noble
Suzanne Noble- Bebhinn Joyce
Anne O’ Brien- Mark Gleeson
Niamh O’ Connor- Eileen Foley

Key Roles and Actions Assigned:

Team Leader: School principal
* in the absence of Ray D’Arcy, Deputy Principal Tom Hartney assumes role of the team leader and Suzanne Noble assumes the role of the Deputy Principal. Should any m

-Alerts the team members to the crisis
and convenes a meeting
-Coordinates tasks of the team
-Liaises with BOM, NEPS, CPSMA etc.
-Liaises with family involved

Garda Liaison: The School Principal

-Liaises with the Gardaí and ensures that information is checked for accuracy before being shared

Staff Liaison: The School Principal & Deputy principal

-Leads meetings for staff
-Advises staff on procedures for identification of vulnerable students
-Provides materials for staff
– Keeps staff updated as the day/s progress/es
-Is alert to vulnerable staff members

-Advises them of the availability of the EAS (Employee Assistance Service) and gives them the contact number.

Student Liaison: Principal & Deputy Principal &Niamh O’Connor/ Suzanne Noble

-Provides materials for students (from their critical incidents folder)
-Looks after setting up a ‘quiet’ room. The Quiet Room will be located in Whitman.
-Support students in groups or individually where required to offer students an opportunity to share their feelings as per NEPS advice

Parent/Guardian Liaison:Principal & Deputy Principal &  Anne O’ Brien

-Visits family with team leader
-Arranges meetings, if needed
-Ensures that letters / emails are prepared and sent to parents
-Sets up a meeting room for parents -staffroom
-Meets parents
-Provides appropriate materials for parents
-Maintains a record of parents seen

Community/Agency Liaison: Deputy Principal

-Maintains up to date lists of contact numbers
-Liaises with agencies in the community for support and onward referral
-Coordinated the involvement of these agencies
-Updates team members on the involvement of these agencies

Media Liaison: The School Principal

-In advance of an incident, will consider issues that may arise and how they might be responded to
-Will draw up a press statement as per advice from CPSMA, ST Senan’s and the IPPN / INTO

Administrator : School Secretary

-Maintains up to date phone numbers of parents/guardians, staff and emergency service
-Takes phone calls and notes
-Prepares and sends out letters, emails and texts
-Photocopies materials as needed
-Maintains records

In the event that one of the CIMT members is unable to carry out their duties, the BoM will
designate a replacement team member(s).

Record Keeping
Each Team Member has a Critical Incident Notebook in which to keep records. In the event
of an incident, each member of the team will keep detailed records of phone calls made and
received, meetings held, persons met, interventions used, material used etc. The school
secretary will have a key role in receiving and logging telephone calls, sending letters,
photocopying materials etc.
A letter / email will be sent to parents based on the sample one attached and will include:
● The sympathy of the School Community.
● Positive information or comments about the deceased/injured person(s)
● The facts of the incident
● What has been done
● What is going to be done

Confidentiality and good name considerations
The school has a responsibility to protect the privacy and good name of the people involved
in any incident and will be sensitive to the consequences of any public statements. The
members of the school staff will bear this in mind and will ensure that pupils do so also.

Critical Incident Rooms

In the event of a critical incident, the following rooms are designated for the indicated purposes.

(Subject to change)

Room Name & Designated Purpose:
Staff Room: Main room for meeting staff
Halla / classroom as appropriate :Meetings with students

Halla / staffroom as appropriate: Meetings with parents

Principal’s office (only if advised): Meetings with media

Whitman / 1A : Individual sessions with students

Principal’s Office: Meetings with other visitors

Development and Communication of this Policy and Plan
Staff and parents were consulted in the preparation of this policy. Each member of the
Critical Incident Team has a personal copy.

The policy was ratified by the Board of Management of Scoil Íde on 11th March 2020.

The policy was subsequently reviewed and ratified by the Board of Management at its
meeting on November 29th, 2022.
Signed: Chairperson of Board of Management: Maureen Hobbins

Signed: Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management: Ray D’Arcy

Date: November 29th 2022

Short Term Actions-Day 1 (Task Name/Group)
Gather accurate information: Principal
Who, what, when, where? :Principal
Convene a CIMT meeting-specify time and place clearly: Principal
Contact external agencies: Deputy Principal
Arrange supervision for students: Deputy Principal

Hold a staff meeting in person or via Zoom having informed associated class/ SET/ SNA staff members just prior to this.: Principal

Agree schedule for the day: All staff
Inform students: Principal or class teacher /SET teacher as advised
Compile a list of vulnerable students: Deputy Principal & Associated Staff
Contact/visit family: Principal & Associated Staff
Prepare and agree media statement and deal with the media: Principal
Inform parents/guardian: Principal
Hold end of day staff briefing: Principal in staffroom

Medium Term Actions-Day 2 and following days (Task Name/Group)
Convene CIMT meeting to review events of first 24 hours: Principal
Meet external agencies: Deputy Principal
Meet whole staff: Principal

Arrange Support for individuals/groups of students/ parents/staff: Deputy Principal & Associated Staff
Visit the injured: Principal/Associated Staff
Liaise with family re funeral arrangements/memorial service: Parish Priest/Principal
Attendance/Participation at Funeral Service: Relevant Staff
Make a decision about School Closure: BoM

Follow up and Beyond 72 Hours (Task  &Name/Group)
Monitor students for continuing signs of stress : Class Teachers
Liaise with agencies regarding referrals: Deputy Principal
Plan for the return of bereaved student:  Class Teachers
Evaluate response to incident and amend C.I. Plan appropriately: Staff/BoM

Inform new staff/pupils: Principal/Deputy Principal

Emergency Contact List

Outside Agency  & Contact Number

Garda (Mayorstone) 061 456980
Hospital Limerick Regional Hospital 061 301111
St. John’s Hospital 061 462222

Fire Brigade 999 / 112
HSE Child Psychiatry (CAMHS) 061 483388/412247
Inspectorate: Anne Fitzpatrick 087 1826728
NEPS Psychologist (Kate Scott) 061 430021
DES Limerick 061 430000
Parish Priest-Fr. Richie Davern 087 2977500
HSE Child Psychology 061 483692
CPSMA ( Paul O’ Donnell) 087-3659724