Lockdown Policy

Key staff involved in the Lockdown Policy/Procedure

RoleName(s)
Head of centreMichael McGhee
Exams officerLyndsey Wyatt
SLT member(s)Kerry Phillips
InvigilatorsLEad Invigilators – Andrew Mearns/Jim Begley
Full list of invigilators is available from the Exams Officer

Purpose of the policy

This policy details the measures taken at Blessed John Henry Newman RC College in the event of a centre lockdown during the conduct of internal/external examinations.

A lockdown may be required in the following situations:

  • An incident or civil disturbance in the local community which poses a risk
  • An intruder on the site with the potential to pose a risk
  • Local risk of air pollution, such as a smoke plume or gas cloud
  • A major fire in the vicinity
  • A dangerous animal roaming loose
  • Any other external or internal incident which has the potential to pose a threat to the safety of exams staff and candidates

Blessed John Henry Newman RC College has devised lockdown procedures after consulting GOV.UK’s Developing Dynamic Lockdown Procedures guidance.

With regard to conducting examinations, the focus before, during and after an exam will be:

  • The welfare and safety of exam candidates and centre staff engaged in the conducting of examinations
  • Maintaining the integrity and security of the examinations/assessments process
  • How to achieve an effective lockdown
  • How to let people know what’s happening
  • Training staff engaged/involved in the conduct of examinations
  • STAY SAFE principles (Run, Hide, Tell)

Roles and Responsibilities

Head of Centre:

  • To ensure that a dedicated lockdown alarm tone/tannoy is in place and recognised by all staff and candidates
  • To ensure that all staff involved in the conduct of examinations are trained in how to raise the alarm for a lockdown, act effectively and are made aware of their responsibilities
  • To arrange appropriate training for all exams-related staff in lockdown procedures
  • To ensure the candidates are aware of the procedures relating to a lockdown, particularly those arriving late for an examination who cannot access the exam room due to it being locked down
  • To ensure that all candidates and staff are aware of an exit point in case an intruder manages to gain access, or the room becomes unsafe
  • To provide written lockdown procedures for exam room/invigilator use
  • To inform the relevant Emergency Services immediately in the case of any potential threat to safety of exams staff and candidates

Senior Leadership team (SLT):

  • To have accountability for all exams staff and candidates taking examinations during a lockdown
  • To run training/drills for examination candidates on lockdown procedures
  • To inform parents/carers about the centre’s Lockdown policy in relation to the conduct of examinations
  • To have a presence around exam room areas prior to the start of each exam session
  • To liaise with the appropriate authorities and awarding bodies regarding candidates taking examinations during a lockdown
  • To use the exam room attendance register(s) to compile a list of all candidates not accounted for

Exam officer:

  • To train invigilators in the centre’s lockdown procedure
  • Where safe/possible, to liaise with SLT/invigilators in all rooms during a lockdown
  • To assist with lockdown training for staff and students where applicable to the conducting of examinations

Invigilators:

  • To be aware to the centre’s lockdown procedure
  • To complete attendance registers as soon as possible so candidates can be identified in the event of a lockdown
  • Where safe/possible, to communicate with the exams officer during a lockdown to confirm the situation in a particular exam room

Lockdown Procedure

Before an examination:

If a lockdown is required as candidates are entering/waiting to enter the exam room, the following procedures will be employed:

  • A member of SLT will be present around exam room areas
  • Candidates will be instructed to enter the exam room immediately
  • Candidates will be instructed to remain silent, hide under exam desks or sit against a wall/around a corner but not near the door
  • Where safe/possible, SLT will communicate (via mobile phone/walkie-talkie) the situation to the exams officer (ensuring that all mobiles phones/walkie-talkies are on ‘silent’ mode)
  • The exams officer will collate the information from all exam rooms and forward this to the head of centre immediately
  • Invigilators will:
    • Lock all windows and close all curtains and blinds
    • Switch off all lights
    • Lock all doors and/or use tables, or any other furniture, to barricade the entrance to the examination room
    • Take an attendance register/head count if possible
    • (if the threat is a chemical or toxic release) instruct candidates to cover their nose and mouth (their own clothing can be used) and attempt to use anything to hand to seal up the cracks around doors and any vents into the room

During the examination:

If a lockdown is required during the exam/when candidates are in the exam room, the following procedures will be employed:

  • Invigilators will:
    • Tell candidates to stop writing immediately and turn their papers over
    • Collect the attendance register
    • Make a note of the time when the examination was suspended
    • Instruct candidates to remain silent, leave all examination materials on their desks and hide under the exam desk
    • Where safe/possible, communicate (via mobile phone/walkie-talkies) the situation to the exams officer (ensuring that all mobile phones/walkie-talkies are on ‘silent’ mode)
    • Lock all windows and close all curtains and blinds
    • Switch off all lights
    • Lock all doors and/or use tables, or any other furniture, to barricade the entrance to the examination room
    • (if the threat is a chemical or toxic release) instruct the candidates to cover their nose and mouth (their own clothing can be used) and attempt to use anything to hand to seal up any cracks around doors and any vents into the room
  • Where safe/possible, the exams officer will collate the information from all exam rooms and forward this to the head of centre immediately
  • The head of centre will make informed decisions on alerting parents/carers, awarding bodies and emergency services
  • If appropriate, where safe/possible, and following centre policy, the exams officer (or invigilators in the absence of exams officer) will initiate the emergency evacuation procedure
  • The exams officer will collect all examination papers and materials for safe/secure storage following advise from the appropriate awarding bodies

After an examination:

If a lockdown is required after the examination/as candidates are leaving the room, the following procedure will be employed:

  • Invigilators will:
    • Stop dismissing candidates from the exam room
    • Instruct candidates who have left the room to re-enter the exam room
    • Instruct candidates to remain silent and hide under examination desks
    • Where safe/possible, communicate (via mobile phone/walkie-talkies) the situation to the exams officer (ensuring that all mobile phones/walkie-talkies are on ‘silent’ mode)
    • Lock all windows and close curtains/blinds
    • Switch off all lights
    • Lock all doors and/or use tables, or any other furniture, to barricade the entrance to the exam room
    • (if the threat is chemical or toxic release) instruct the candidates to cover their nose and mouth (their own clothing can be used) and attempt to use anything to hand to seal up cracks around the doors and any vents into the room
  • Where safe/possible, the exams officer will collate the information from all exam rooms and forward to the head of centre immediately.

Ending a lockdown:

  • The lockdown will be ended by either:
    • The sound of a defined alarm/tannoy or
    • The identification/authorisation of Emergency Service officers/SLT/head of centre entering each exam room
  • A specific word or phrase may be used to confirm that the instruction to end the lockdown is genuine
  • Invigilators will undertake a head count/register and confirm attendance with the exams officer/SLT
  • Where applicable and if advised to do so by SLT/head of centre, and following JCQ guidelines, if there is sufficient time remaining, candidates may restart their examination
  • Invigilators will then:
    • Ask candidates to return to their desks, remind them they are under exam conditions and allow a settling down period
    • Recalculate the revised finish time(s) to allow for the full duration of the exam
    • Tell the candidates to turn their papers over and re-start their exam
    • Amend the revised finish time(s) on display to candidates
    • Note how long the lockdown lasted on the exam room incident log sheet (to later inform a report to the awarding bodies and where relevant, any centre-wide lockdown recording form/log)
  • The exams officer will:
    • Provide a full report of the incident for awarding bodies (via the special consideration process or as advised by awarding bodies)
    • Safely/securely store all collected exam papers and materials pending awarding body advise/guidance
  • Where applicable/possible/available, SLT/exams officer will:
    • Negotiate any alternative exam sittings with the awarding bodies
    • Offer, arrange and provide support services to staff and candidates
  • At the earliest opportunity, SLT/head of centre will prepare a communication to parents/carers advising them of events (including relevant actions and outcomes)
  • Where possible, exam staff and candidates will be invited to attend an assembly led by the head of centre to discuss the lockdown and offer ongoing support
    • If this is not possible, communication will be provided via a centre text message/email and information uploaded to the centre’s website.