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1.8 Terrorist threat or attack and Lockdown procedure


Policy statement


Westwood Farm Community Pre-School recognises that there may be potentially serious risks to children, staff and visitors in emergency or harmful situations. A lockdown may take place where there is a perceived risk of threat to the Pre-School, its staff, children, visitors or property.  Most procedures for handling an emergency are focussed on an event happening in the building. However, in some situations you will be advised to stay put (lock-down) rather than evacuate. ‘Lock-down’ of a building/group of buildings is intended to secure and protect occupants in the proximity of an immediate threat. By controlling movement in an area, emergency services can contain and handle the situation more effectively.

  • The setting manager assesses the likelihood of an incident happening based on their location.

  • The setting manager will check our police website for advice and guidance.

  • Local police contact numbers are clearly displayed for staff to refer to.

  • Staff rehearse simple ‘age appropriate’ actions with the children such as staying low to the floor, keeping quiet and listening to instructions in the same way that fire procedures are practiced. Lock-down must be rehearsed and recorded annually.

  • The setting manager is aware of the current terrorist alert level, as available at

  • We follow any additional advice issued by the local authority.

  • Emergency procedures are reviewed and added to if needed.

  • Information about this procedure is shared with parents and all staff are aware of their role during ‘lockdown’.

  • A text/phone message is issued to parents when lockdown is confirmed.


In any event of an incident taking place, the message will be conveyed in the form of a whistle. The member of staff blowing the whistle will use one word to alert staff of the procedures they are to follow.  The word “in” will be used if everyone needs to come into the building.  “Out” will be used in the event of the building needing to be evacuated; and “cupboard” will be used if everyone needs to be in our safe place. 

If the Manager becomes aware of a security threat or a disturbance in the vicinity, that we deem to put the children in our care, or the staff at risk; the following procedures will be followed:

The Manager (or person first seeing the incident) will blow the whistle, and say the appropriate word (in, out, cupboard), to alert staff that there is an issue, and all staff and children will enter or evacuate the building as quickly as possible.

The Manager or Deputy will call 999 or 101 (Thames Valley Police), the Chairperson and the Landlord.

All staff will be made aware of the situation, and along with the children they will remain inside the building with all doors and windows closed and locked, and the blinds shut where it is safe to do so. In the event of a minor incident (no immediate risk to us), we intend to carry on with our activities as much as possible. Staff will be given the all clear when the incident is over, and the threat has gone.


In the event of a serious incident all staff will have been alerted by the whistle and the word “cupboard” and they, along with the children will gather as quickly and quietly as possible in the ‘safe room’; which is the small bar area.  They will remain here out of sight, taking the top drawer, which contains both the children’s and staff registers, the blue box, containing emergency contact details, medication, and both the Pre-School and staff mobile phones. 

The Deputy will complete the register while the Manager checks the premises (including the toilets) for other children. The Manager will ensure that all windows and doors are closed and locked where possible.  In the event that the Manager and/or Deputy are not present another member of staff will be allocated to do this. 

We will reassure the children and endeavour to keep them as calm and quiet as possible throughout the incident and will remain here until we receive further instructions from the emergency services. The door will be locked and if deemed necessary the filing cabinets are to be pushed across to block the door. Staff and children stay away from windows and doors. Children are encouraged to stay low and keep calm.  Staff tune into a local TV or radio station for more information. And they do not make non-essential calls on mobile phones or landlines.

If the threat to our safety occurs at a time when we are expecting additional staff or parents (either dropping off or collecting), and it is appropriate, the Manager, Deputy and Chairperson will inform them of the danger and advise them not to attend.

When we are informed that the incident is over and the threat has gone, staff will be given the all clear. We will then continue with our activities as much as possible whilst the Manager and/or Deputy contact all of the parents to inform them of the incident

The door will not be opened once it has been secured until the manager is officially advised “all clear” or is certain it is emergency services at the door.



During lockdown staff do NOT:

·travel down long corridors

·assemble in large open areas

·call 999 again unless there is immediate concern for their safety, the safety of others, or they feel they have critical information that must be passed on


Following lockdown:

The incident will be recorded in the Incident file and Ofsted and West Berkshire Early Years Team will be contacted within 24 hours of the incident occurring.

·Staff will cooperate with emergency services to assist in an orderly evacuation.

·Staff will ensure that they have the register and children’s details.

·Staff or children who have witnessed an incident will need to tell the police what they saw. The police may require other individuals to remain available for questioning.

  • In the event of an incident it is inevitable that parents will want to come to the setting and collect their children immediately. They will be discouraged from doing so, until the emergency services give the ‘all clear’. Staff will be always acting on the advice of the emergency services.

Recording and reporting

  • The setting manager reports the lockdown to their line manager as soon as possible. In some situations, this may not be until after the event.

  • A record is completed as soon as possible.

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