St Mary’s College, Wellington – Evacuation of students after an incident

St Mary’s College has policies and procedures in place to manage emergencies, disasters, crises, and the reunification of students with whānau following an event.  In an emergency, control of the school community remains with the Principal until instructed otherwise by outside agencies.

REMINDER: parents/caregivers should regularly update their student’s emergency contact information, including who is authorised to collect their student in the event of an emergency.  To do this, please email:  [email protected]

What the school does when an emergency occurs

In response to the evacuation alarm in an emergency, disaster, or crisis, we will:

  1. Evacuate and establish a control centre to manage our emergency procedures.

  2. Check that all students, staff, and visitors are accounted for.

  3. Assess the situation and decide if evacuation to an offsite location is required. 

  4. Determine whether school closure is necessary.

  5. Communicate with parents/caregivers as appropriate. 

Communication with parents/caregivers

We will contact parents/caregivers as soon as possible using the contact details we hold on file for each student.

As soon as we are able to, we will provide updated information about: 

  • what has occurred

  • our management of the situation

  • details of how and when students will be safely released or reunited with whānau.

Depending on the circumstances, our available communication options may include:

  • Texting or emailing parents/caregivers

  • Updating school social media accounts and our school app

  • Liaising with media and local authorities.

What parents/caregivers should do

Parents/caregivers must:

  • stay away from the school if advised to do so in communications from the school;

  • follow all instructions given by the school;

  • in a civil defence emergency (e.g. natural disaster, extreme weather event), follow the advice of Civil Defence and local authorities given via radio, emergency mobile alerts, and online sources.

We look after students and staff

During an emergency, the school takes care of our community:

  • Staff and students will be supported and kept safe (we have extensive emergency kits that include food, water, first aid, etc)

  • As soon as we can, we will communicate with whānau about the release of students, including how, when, and where this will occur.

Release of students after an emergency

Students will be released in accordance with the instructions that we hold on file from parents/caregivers.  For each student, this is either: 

  • The student remains at school until collected by a named caregiver or a named emergency contact personOR

  • The student is released from school on their own, if this is deemed safe to do by the Principal

If a student cannot be safely released, the school takes responsibility for their care until an appropriate arrangement is made with their whānau, the Police, and/or Oranga Tamariki.

Following an emergency

The school undertakes a number of important actions in the aftermath of an emergency, disaster, or crisis.  

  • Before the school is reoccupied, buildings and grounds are checked for signs of damage and property professionals are called in to assess the school’s condition, if required.

  • Actions are taken to provide support to the people who make up our school community. 

  • We review what has occurred, our management of the event, and identify areas for change and improvement.

Further information

Full details of all of our emergency planning and procedures can be found in the Emergency Management section of our SchoolDocs policy suite .