There have been queries about how many and what evacuation drills centres should be practising each term.
Our licensing criterion HS8 Emergency drills requires these to be carried out with the children on an at least three monthly basis. Noting that this is the minimum per drill type, you can be flexible with this. For example if a centre has had an influx of new children it could be a good idea to carry out a drill with them before the three month mark.
We strongly encourage only holding one drill type per day.
Our current policy covers the minimum as MoE criteria requires centres to undertake to practise a drill for each relevant emergency situation at least every three months, as well as any specific to their physical location.
Eg. If a centre is by the sea they’ll need to do tsunami drills. Criterion HS8 Emergency drills states ‘Adults providing education and care are familiar with relevant emergency drills and carry these out with the children on an at least three-monthly basis.’
MoE have advised that drills on what to do in violent situations should be practiced at a time that children/young people are not on site, as the drills may cause undue fear and anxiety. The centres do still need to practice these however. You can read more in this document Planning and preparing for emergencies.
Please see below the rationale of the criterion, which is a practical reminder of why centres need to carry these drills out.
The criterion aims to uphold the safety of children by ensuring that:
- Adults at the service have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to deal with emergency situations
Therefore centres must carry them out with all sessions so all adults know what to do.