As a parent I expect to drop my children off at school each morning with the knowledge that they are safe when inside and outside the classroom. Schools should be a safe environment, but unfortunately any school could be involved in an emergency at any time.
Schools have a duty of care to both children and staff and the Department for Education recommends that schools have emergency plans in place. Planning and preparing for emergencies can save lives. My mind starts to run away with the number of incidents that could occur, for example:
- A fire within the school
- A serious accident involving children / staff
- Death of a child or member of staff
- Kidnap or disappearance of a child
- A terrorist attack or intruder on the premises or nearby
- Severe weather events
During any one of the above incidents, it isn’t necessarily easy for a member of the Senior Leadership (SLT) team to access a computer in order to send any information to staff or parents. As a parent, it would be unbearable to watch any incident unfold in the knowledge that my children were affected. How would the school communicate with a wide audience of people both physically located in the school at the time of the incident or at home watching in angst?
What if it were possible for members of SLT to send a single text message from their own mobile phone that would trigger text messages to immediately be sent to any necessary contact; staff and parents. What if this text message could be responded to by staff members?
If we take the specific intruder in school example, the intruder alarm is blaring and staff aren’t 100% sure what is happening, where the danger is located within the building and status updates. It might be impossible for them to reach a computer to find out, it might just be too dangerous. I expect that most people would have a mobile phone within easy grasp.
Imagine the potential to save lives and prevent harm. Imagine you could tell staff through a series of messages what the current status is, places to avoid and what to do. It could prevent mass panic. Imagine that staff could reply and tell you exactly where in the building they are located and who they have with them. Imagine this could be shared with emergency services. This could just prove invaluable, and as a parent, imagine you could get kept updated as to the status of the incident and what you should do.
Technology can be instrumental in saving lives in various situations, but a simple text message could actually make all the difference in some situations. At HSL Mobile, this is something we really have considered through our service provision. Our AlertBroadcast solution for schools could do this and more. Emergency planning is just that, planning for as many emergencies that you could foresee so that you can protect your children and staff from danger.
To view further information on AlertBroadcast you can take a look at our AlertBroadcast page, or for more details on how HSL is currently helping many schools across the country visit our Education specific information.