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School operations

Reporting and Managing School Incidents (including emergencies)

Step 1 — Identifying incident and immediate response

Identification is when an incident is observed by or disclosed to a school at any location. This can include disclosure by a student, staff member, family member or other person, to the school. 

The following outlines immediate actions that should be undertaken by the school after an incident has been brought to the attention of the school.

Ensure safety

  • assess the safety of the situation
  • remove the students and staff from any source of danger
  • administer first aid and/or seek medical attention
  • if necessary, contact emergency services on 000 and enact the school’s Emergency Management Plan
  • if a staff member or another student is accused or suspected of harming a student, separate them from immediate contact with the alleged victim
  • provide support to any student or staff witnesses, see the Resources tab for further guidance and resources on supporting students and staff following an incident, such as the Managing Trauma guide and the Recovery Tools form

Record evidence

  • Preserve and make a record of any physical or documentary evidence.
  • If multiple students have witnessed the incident, separate them to preserve the integrity of their evidence until they are interviewed.
  • In cases of alleged criminal conduct, including child or sexual abuse, follow instructions on evidence preservation from Victoria Police, whenever instructions are given.

Contact relevant parties

  • For incidents not involving child abuse or student sexual offending:
    • contact parents/carers to provide information regarding the incident, unless doing so would place the safety, health or wellbeing of the child at risk
  • For incidents involving child abuse or student sexual offending, follow the four actions under PROTECT Identifying and Responding to All Forms of Abuse in Victorian Schools.

Notifiable Incidents to WorkSafe

For incidents that are Notifiable Incidents to WorkSafe, the site must be preserved, except where there is an immediate need to protect the health and safety of persons, provide first aid to any injured persons or to take essential action to make the site safe.

Chapter in the Guidelines and Procedures for Reporting and Managing School Incidents on the immediate actions schools must take when an incident has been identified

Reviewed 26 May 2020

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