This policy describes the requirements for managing and reporting school incidents, including emergencies.
- This policy and associated guidelines and procedures apply to incidents that impact students and/or school operations that are brought to the attention of the school regardless of when and where they occurred, provided they impact on the student or other students within the school environment, including camps and excursions.
- Schools must manage and report incidents in accordance with the guidance and procedures described.
- at government schools
- services delivered by school councils within the school environment including:
- outside school hours care
- kindergartens delivered by school councils on school premises
- VET programs delivered as part of a government school program
- during travel to and from school
- online school environments
- school camps, excursions, or outdoor adventure activities
- any other location where there is subsequent impact on students or the school community.
An incident is an actual or alleged event or situation that:
- causes harm or creates a risk of causing harm to a student’s health, safety or wellbeing either directly or indirectly while under the care or supervision of the school, including international students (for more information about reporting international student related critical incidents, please refer to: )
- impacts a student and is brought to the attention of the school, regardless of when or where it occurred, provided it is impacting on the student or other students within the school environment
- causes harm or creates a risk of causing harm to an employee’s health, safety or wellbeing either directly or indirectly in the work setting
- affects or risks affecting the continuity of school operations, including matters of security (including cyber security), property damage and emergencies
- requires police notification or involves matters of serious conduct
- is a WorkSafe .
School management and reporting
Schools are required to manage incidents according to 6 stages of the department’s management and reporting incidents (including emergencies) process. The provides detailed guidelines and procedures on the 6 stages, which are:
- Identifying an incident and immediate response
- Reporting an incident (Report for Support)
- Ongoing support and recovery
- Incident review and closure
- Analyse and learn
Stage 1: Identifying an incident and immediate response
The immediate safety of students, staff and the education community is paramount. The following actions may be required:
- provide first aid
- contact emergency services on
- enact the school’s (or site’s) emergency management plan
- capture and preserve evidence (such as ‘’ to WorkSafe or for criminal investigations)
- contact nominated family or carers.
Stage 2: Reporting an incident (report for support)
Incidents are rated as either:
Incidents assessed as Low or Medium can be reported directly into (staff login required) by the principal (or delegate). The principal (or delegate) is to contact the Incident Support and Operations Centre (ISOC) on to report 'High' or 'Extreme' severity incidents for support (report for support). ISOC provides immediate advice and connects schools to local or centralised services that can support response and recovery. ISOC will report incidents in eduSafe Plus on behalf of the school. This assessment indicates whether the incident is likely to reoccur. If so, then additional support can be sourced from relevant services to mitigate future risk. In addition, all identified hazards, minor injuries and near misses involving employees, volunteers, visitors, contractors and members of the public must be reported in eduSafe Plus. Refer to: .
Certain incidents require additional steps, including the following.
- must also be reported to WorkSafe on . The incident site may need to be preserved until a WorkSafe inspector arrives. A completed must be submitted within 48 hours.
- Any child protection concerns must be reported to Child Protection for mandatory reports or Child FIRST for any other child protection concerns. Refer to: .
- Any allegations of criminal conduct must be reported to Victoria Police. Refer to: .
- Any allegations of sexual offenses committed by an adult against a child under the age of 16 must be reported to Victoria Police. Refer to: .
- Allegations of misconduct, unsatisfactory performance, sexual harassment and reportable conduct must be reported to the Employee Conduct Branch. Refer to: and
- Any incidents of suspected fraud and/or corruption must be reported to the department’s Fraud and Corruption Control Unit. Refer to: .
Stage 3: Ongoing support and recovery
The school principal (or delegate) is responsible for providing immediate relief support to impacted students, staff and the education community. Where necessary and appropriate, additional support will be provided by school support staff and corporate office staff based in regional and central offices. When an incident is reported to ISOC, ISOC staff will ask the principal (or delegate) whether they require additional support (including recovery support) during the call.
Stage 4: Investigation
Some incidents may trigger investigations under other department policies and legislative schemes (for example, privacy breaches should be reported in accordance with the , mandatory reporting to the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing). A preliminary investigation screening should be undertaken within 2 days of an incident being reported to the ISOC.
For the investigation, the principal and/or their delegate may decide to convene an incident investigation team, comprising school leadership staff, the school’s health and safety representative (HSR), affected employee and other employees, depending on the nature of the incident. The investigation should seek to identify the causes and any potential hazards, and provide recommended control and preventative measures.
Stage 5: Incident review and closure
This stage outlines the process and accountabilities for incident reviews and closure. Reviews are discretionary but provide a valuable learning opportunity. The incident severity rating informs the responsible authority for closing incidents, in consultation with the principal. Incidents are closed when current and/or future risk is eliminated, mitigated or accepted.
Stage 6: Analyse and learn
This stage provides an overview of the department’s data analysis framework for analysis of incident information. Incident data analysis includes monitoring, interrogating and acting on identified trends. Security and Emergency Management Division undertake regular data analysis and reporting.
Note: Multiple lower order incidents may necessitate support to manage the cumulative impact of incidents on the health and wellbeing of students, staff and the education community. In these circumstances, principals can request additional support by contacting ISOC.
Principals (or delegates) can contact the OHS Advisory Service on or via email at for help with reporting or managing staff related incidents and hazards in eduSafe Plus, implementing the OHS Management System, conducting risk assessments and other OHS issues.
Principals (or delegates) can contact the IT Service Desk on or access the Service Portal to submit a , report or for help with navigating the eduSafe Plus system. The IT Service Desk can also help you with technical difficulties, network issues and general IT advice.
Reviewed 12 October 2023