School operations

Managing and Reporting School Incidents (Including Emergencies)

Stage 1 – Identifying an 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 immediate actions should be undertaken 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, refer to the Resources tab for further guidance and resources on supporting students and staff following an incident, such as the Managing trauma guide (PDF)External Link (staff login required) and the Recovery tools form (PDF)External Link (staff login required)

Record evidence

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

Contact relevant parties

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 29 January 2024

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