We live in one of the busiest capital cities in the world and in recent years we have seen an increase in terrorist attacks across London. Following the incident on Tuesday (14 August 2018) in Parliament Square, which affected one of the LEYF nurseries for the second time we thought it would be helpful to explain how we respond to such critical incidents.
As an organisation we take any incident seriously putting the welfare of the child first. We have an emergency incident protocol that we regularly practice. This involves enacting a variety of real life scenarios across the organisation to test our responses to incidents for example: a gas leak evacuation of the nursery; a terrorist attack that results in the nursery having to lock down; plus, other scenarios our teams may encounter. This is designed to build confidence and develop the skills of the team and the children, so they are able to respond calmly and assuredly in a variety of different situations. By practising regularly, we are also able to test the response and decision making of the whole nursery team.
We also review the ability of our central office team to support the nurseries and manage parental and external communications. We always evaluate responses to an incident to ensure we learn from these events so that we can put our learning into practice should an emergency occur. We believe that in today’s society we need to be able to respond to any eventuality.
We are very proud of the way our staff and children responded to the situation on Tuesday when the Houses of Parliament and the surrounding estate was put into lockdown. The staff ran a full day of learning and fun, although the children could not go out. Children did not suspect anything untoward was happening and enjoyed the day in the care of their creative and sensitive teachers. Our Central Office team remained in regular contact with the nursery and established clear communication channels for staff, parents and with the Emergency Services.
We realise that living and working in London can be stressful. Our top priority will always remain your children and by regularly conducting critical scenario practice we feel this helps us be better prepared for these unpleasant and scary incidents.
If you have any questions or require any further information, please do not hesitate to speak to your nursery manager.