Pharos Response


Pharos Response provides a unique range of services to help schools prevent incidents happening on and off-site, to train and prepare your SLT to manage critical incidents through training and simulation exercises (including lockdown) and also to provide specialist support 24/7 to help you respond immediately to incidents, from COVID to coach crashes.

The Pharos team is made up of highly experienced crisis management experts who have managed many critical incidents over many years, usually involving young people. They have supported schools through their darkest days, navigating Headteachers through the incidents that no school should have to face but many do.

Critical incidents in schools

Incidents that the Pharos team have supported schools with have included, for example:

Student suicides, staff arrests and convictions for offences involving children, coach crashes overseas, sudden staff death, serious sexual assaults, staff arrest for fraud, headteacher blackmail, armed robbery in school trip hotel and historical safeguarding incidents in press.

Responding to these situations should never appear on a Headteacher’s to-do list, but sadly they do, and more often than people think.

When they do happen, schools are rarely sufficiently prepared for the external challenges and pressures that these incidents present, for the press and social media attention, managing parent communications and liaising with all the other stakeholders involved.

Pupils and staff are safer on and off-site.

Reduce the negative impact of a serious incident.

24/7 access to specialists in crisis and risk management, H&S, security, crisis PR, social media, trauma counselling.

Added resilience for out-of-hours incidents on trips and visits.

Reduced pressure on staff.

Duty of care reassurance and governance.

Reputation protection.

Prevent critical incidents in schools

The following services can help prevent incidents from happening by applying professional knowledge and the experiences of dealing with a vast array of incidents over many years.

Security Audit

This includes a review of your policies and procedures and a detailed site survey to establish priorities, threats, challenges and weaknesses. Your detailed report then provides practical advice, realistic recommendations and template documents covering alarms and monitoring systems, access control, visitor management, lockdown, emergency communications, VIPs, premises layout and crisis response plans.

Pharos Response risk and reputation management for schools

Prepare for a critical incident

Lockdown rehearsal

Twilight session with a security briefing, lockdown rehearsal and hot feedback.

Simulation exercise

Live lockdown rehearsal (as above) develops with a desktop simulation exercise for the senior team to rehearse their critical incident response.  You will manage the lockdown incident as if for real, plan the school’s response and field calls from the press and parents (played by Pharos actors).  Alternative bespoke scenarios are available such as an off-site or overseas critical incident.

Respond to a critical incident

Specialist incident handlers are waiting to assist you 24/7 with any incident, emergency or serious issue, whether on a school trip, on a school site or within the school community.

The highly experienced incident managers who answer your emergency calls are typically former Officers within the uniformed services and also have experience of working with young people. They will provide immediate practical advice, log all details and recommend priority actions before notifying SLT (if required). They will also brief Pharos Escalation Managers who will lead on providing strategic incident mentoring and initiate other specialist services such as crisis PR, social media monitoring, trauma counselling and health and safety advice.