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Lockdown Practice

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by monicabilongame, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Is this happening in your school? I know of two schools locally who do lockdown practice already, one of which likes to think of itself as a bit of a flagship, and the practice will be spreading no doubt to other schools who follow their lead.

    Does yours do it?

    Do you think it's necessary?
  2. mark6243

    mark6243 Occasional commenter

    Whilst I'm already expecting such a practice to be punitive, immoral and distasteful, I'm unfamiliar with this doctrine as I work only supply now.

    Could you enlighten me?
  3. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Lockdown is what they do in schools in the US, where they imagine that a crazy gunman is on the loose with an armoury of weaponry, and everyone locks themselves into their classrooms and hides the kids under tables or in cupboards and maintains absolute silence until the pretend gunman has gone away.
    solvacrime likes this.
  4. mark6243

    mark6243 Occasional commenter

    I'm afraid I can see no reason for such a practice in England. I can't imagine what Wilshaw or Morgan's angle would be to encourage such a practice.o_O
    solvacrime likes this.
  5. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Well, it's happening - probably as a response to 'every child must know about extremism', or the demands of parents....
    solvacrime likes this.
  6. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    The Nursery and Reception children I taught would sometimes be frightened by a normal fire drill. I would imagine lockdown practice would be terrifying and even more difficult to explain to a four year old. It's a very sad state of affairs if this is deemed to be necessary. School atrocities in this country, which have thankfully been few, have been carried out by loners with a particular grudge.
    solvacrime likes this.
  7. Nyssa_Nyssa

    Nyssa_Nyssa New commenter

    It was introduced where I worked last year and we called it 'Invacuation' as opposed to 'Evacuation'. The process for the teachers was quite convoluted to say the least. If I give more detail it will be obvious to others which school it is.

    Children were worried however a chat with them before hand to explain the process and played down the dangers i.e. dangerous animals or stranger. This seemed to do the trick for some of the more mature ones. But I worked with Year 2 so I can imagine Year 1 and Reception getting very stressed.
    solvacrime likes this.
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I do feel that one can go too far in trying to anticipate the most unlikely of events.

    I was once asked in a staff meeting in all seriousness (well, as serious as a deliberately awkward colleague can ever be) , what was the agreed school procedure in the case of a dirty bomb being dropped in the playground.


    My response was Exactly the same as the procedure that you have developed for use in your own home if such a thing were to happen.

  9. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Nothing new under the sun. We had such a drill in one school back in the 1970s which was a possible target for an IRA bombing. Fortunately never needed it (and we never used the fire drill for real either!)
    solvacrime likes this.
  10. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Growing up in the States, my primary school had a bomb shelter in the basement, but by the time I was there (mid-1970s), no bomb drills like the 1950s.

    No metal detectors either in primary or secondary schools (70s or early 80s) although we heard some inner city high schools did have.

    I think Columbine really changed American schools as well as Sandy Hook.

    At my current school (girls indie), we've practised fire drills but not an intruder, etc

    damnant quod non intellegunt
    solvacrime likes this.
  11. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Many modern schools I worked in had no locks on the classroom doors (except sometimes for labs...). Make 'lockdown' a bit tricky...
    solvacrime likes this.
  12. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    We had a lock-down policy in the 80s after a very disturbed lad came into school brandishing a machete and looking for a particular student. I'm not sure how word got round to lock classroom doors as I was away that day. After that we had a 6 bell signal which. thankfully, was never needed.
    solvacrime likes this.
  13. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Sadly you are being optimistic, I was at a school ten years ago when an armed intruder got onto the site. It was a teenager looking for a year 11 boy and was "thought to be" gang related. Everyone had to stay in thier classrooms and the Police were called but by the time they arrived the intruder had left. We were told later the gun was a replica but of course that couldn't be assumed at the time,

    I think its less likely to happen these days as most modern schools are built like Fort Knox but you cannot be too careful..
    solvacrime likes this.
  14. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    Of course, Andy Murray is a survivor of Dunblane........
    solvacrime likes this.
  15. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I would be careful about denouncing such a drill as silly as you know exactly what people will post should another Dunblane happen (Why did they not practice lockdown etc?)

    Touch wood of course we won't get one. Although of course schools these days are far more 'fortified' than in the past, the weakness would be someone pretending to be a legitimate contractor/visitor.

    It is amazing to think what we got away with in the 1990s as kids! As year 7s a group of us would sneak out the back gate to a local woodland on nice summer days at lunchtimes!
    solvacrime likes this.
  16. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Also reminds me of when I used to believe a lot more in nonsense like Nostradamus and the end of the world in July 1999 prophecy - I had this horrible image as a kid of schoolchildren standing outside to a fire bell responding to a nuclear strike threat! (it would be interesting to see what policy is on that one!)
    solvacrime likes this.
  17. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Don't you have to either hide under the desk, or go home, whitewash all the windows, build a shelter, store water and canned foods, get a bin with a lid for a portapotty, and another bin for other rubbish, get a torch with lots of batteries, and then go into the shelter with all this and stay there for a fortnight or until the government tells you to come out?
    solvacrime likes this.
  18. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    @monicabilongame I remember the public service announcements about a nuclear strike from my childhood very clearly, sadly. I spent much of my time feeling pretty scared and used to go to sleep with two piles of books (Enid Blyton's St Clare's and Mallory Towers complete collection!) under my pillow in readiness for taking to the bunker my father had built. Later in my childhood we had the IRA attacks to contend with. Looking back at things, I think I was probably a very anxious little girl:(.

    I'd feel uncomfortable if my little girl was subjected to the anxiety that lockdown practice would put her under.
  19. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    @RedQuilt I too remember the anxiety over the 'four minute warning' and my mother's cynicism (she'd been through the war).
    RedQuilt likes this.
  20. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    About eight years ago I was working in a school that did go into lockdown due to two men coming onto the site with knives - it was related to a student whose family were involved in drug dealing. It scared the living daylights out of the Year 8s I was with. That was the first and last time it happened, because SLT made a the decision to lock the gates during the school day.

    Of course, if they'd locked them in the first place...

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