Last reviewed on 5 April 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 41658

Prepare for emergencies by making sure your school has an emergency plan detailing how you'll respond to various significant incidents, including an outbreak of acute respiratory disease.

All schools should have an emergency plan

Your focus in creating this plan (also called a critical incident plan) should be on:

  • Minimising disruption to pupils’ education
  • Maximising the number of pupils receiving face-to-face provision
  • Helping staff respond effectively to an emergency on site or during an educational visit

This is explained on page 5 of the DfE’s non-statutory emergency planning and response guidance.

You must also comply with legal requirements, including health and safety law, and statutory requirements.

You can include your COVID-19 outbreak plans in your emergency plan 

The DfE’s emergency planning and response guidance was updated and replaced the COVID-19 contingency framework for schools on 1 April.  

Instead, you can include your planned response to a severe outbreak of COVID-19 in your emergency plan, which should include your plans for responding to any serious public health incidents. However, you are free to keep this separate if you'd