Louisburgh Co. Mayo



Critical Incident Management Policy


Mission Statement:
Sancta Maria College is a voluntary Catholic secondary school under the trusteeship of CEIST whose core values are inclusive of the Mercy philosophy of education.
We welcome, care for and support all within the school community through the promotion of
• Respect
• Being just & responsible
• Quality teaching and learning
• An inclusive community
• Life-long learning

Mercy Philosophy of Education
Inspired by the vision of Catherine McAuley, Mercy Education is committed to holistic development and to the achievement of the full potential of each student, particularly those who are disadvantaged or marginalized.
It is a process informed and influenced by the teaching and example of Jesus Christ and is conducted in an atmosphere of care, respect and joy.
CEIST is committed to on-going whole-school development in collaboration and partnership with the Board of Management, staff, parents and the wider community.

Operating Context
A board of Management operates Sancta Maria College within the following guidelines:
1. In the context of, and within the parameters of the Department of Education and Science [D.E.S.] regulations and programmes;
2. Within the rights of the trustees as set out in the Education Act;
3. Following the Religious and Educational Philosophy of Ceist.;
4. Within the funding and resources available.
Definition: A critical incident is any incident or sequence of events which overwhelms the normal coping mechanisms of the school. (NEPS Responding to Critical incidents).
Sancta Maria College aims to protect the well being of its students and staff by providing a safe and nurturing environment at all times as outlined in our Mission Statement. The Board of Management, through Mrs Pauline Moran (School Principal), has drawn up a critical incident management plan as one element of the school's policies and plans. The aim of the team is to steer the development and implementation of the plan.
The staff and management of Sancta Maria College recognise a critical incident to be 'an incident or sequence of events that overwhelms the normal coping mechanism of the school'. Critical incidents may involve one or more students or staff members, or members of our local community. Types of incidents may include:
• The death of a member of the school community through accident, violence, suicide or suspected suicide or other unexpected death.
• An intrusion into the school
• An accident involving members of the school community
• An accident/tragedy in the wider community
• Serious damage to the school building through fire, flood, vandalism etc.
• The disappearance of a member of a school community

Aims of Policy:
The aim of the CIMP is to help school management and staff to react quickly and effectively in the event of an incident, to enable us to maintain a sense of control and to ensure that appropriate support is offered to students and staff.

Physical and Psychological safety:
Systems are in place to address the physical and psychological safety of the school community through our Health and Safety policy which includes:
• Evacuation plan
• Regular fire drills
• Regular check of fire exits and extinguishers

The management and staff of Sancta Maria College aim to use available programmes and resources to address the personal and social development of students, to enhance a sense of safety and security in the school and to provide opportunities for reflection and discussion.
• Staff are familiar with the Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures and details of how to proceed with suspicions or disclosures
• The school has a clear policy on bullying and deals with bullying in accordance with the policy
• Students who are identified as being at risk are referred to the designated staff member (eg. guidance counsellor or support teacher), concerns are explored and the appropriate level of assistance and support is provided. Parents are informed, and where appropriate, a referral is made to an appropriate agency.

Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT)
A CIMT has been established in line with best practice. The members of the team were selected on a voluntary basis. Each member of the team has a dedicated role.
• Team leader
• Garda liaison
• Staff liaison
• Student liaison
• Community liaison
• Media liaison
• Administrator





Team Leader

Pauline Moran

Finola Foy

Garda Liaison

Noel Mc Greal

Cormac McCarthy

Staff Liaison

Pauline Moran

Finola Foy

Student Liaison

Richard Berkeley
Marion Gill
Nora Gavin
Relevant Year Head and Class Tutor


Agencies Liaison

Richard Berkeley

Elaine O’Malley

Media Liaison

Michael Davitt

Noel O’Malley

Parent/Community Liaison

Marion Gill

Pauline Finucane


Finola Foy
Jim Rocliffe

Michelle McGing

Critical Incident Policy
Classroom session handout for teachers
Children’s understanding of death handout
Stages of grief handout
How to cope handout

Reactions to a critical incident

Grief after Suicide handout
Set of Frequently Asked Questions




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Sancta Maria College, Louisburgh
Tel: 098 66342 Fax: 098 66570 Email: