Service Details

Critical Incident


The Critical Incident Support Service provides support to schools, academies, independent schools and Early Years settings in a Critical Incident.

A Critical Incident is defined as 'An event or events, usually sudden, which involves the experience of significant personal distress to a level which potentially overwhelms normal responses, procedures, and coping strategies and which is likely to have emotional and organisational consequences.' An example for a Critical Incident may be the unexpected death of a child or an adult closely associated with the school. Equally, it may be an event causing injuries which result in temporary or long-term disablement.

The Critical Incident Service can be accessed by phoning the Critical Incident Support Line, which is a pager system to ensure countywide coverage. The Critical Incident Lead Officer will be able to guide you through the process of alerting other key services and will offer advice on how to deal with the immediate impact of a Critical Incident. In school support is available from education professionals trained in trauma management and psychological support, who will support you as you come to terms with the consequences of a Critical Incident. This may be at two levels, immediate telephone advice and, where appropriate, allocation of a team to visit the school and support the school community.

For information on critical incidents, bereavement and trauma please have a look at our new EPSS website. If you are a LA school or subscribe to the CI service please register and log in for more detailed information.


In 2016-2017, nearly one in five Norfolk Schools/Academies used the Critical Incident Support Service, and over the last ten years over 50% of all schools have accessed it. This is what headteachers have said: 'These are things which are very important and represent the skills which sit outside of the skills of most teachers. Therefore when critical events happen we need professionals we can access quickly.'
'The way incidents are dealt with can make a lifetime difference to all concerned. It is crucial that leaders have support and confidence, which can only be gained through an external mechanism.'

The Critical Incident Support Team is also able to provide consultations in relation to bereavement issues, and support Academies in referring children to appropriate services. You can also access free places on our training sessions. We offer training for principals/Academy leaders about 'Managing a Critical Incident', which will help you to plan and be prepared, as well as training for any member of staff: 'Supporting Bereaved Children in School Communities'.

More Details

Your commitment to us In the event of a Critical Incident, please inform us as soon as possible using the Critical Incident Line. If you would like some non-urgent advice, please call us on the office or mobile telephone numbers which you will also find in your Red Book. When you ask for our support, we expect that you will provide us with all the relevant information, so that we can provide you with the best possible support.

Our commitment to you
We will work in partnership with you to provide you with high quality professional support in the event of a Critical Incident. We will offer training which is evaluated and is aimed at increasing your confidence in dealing with Critical Incidents and supporting bereaved children.

Contact Details

Dr. Bianca Finger-Berry
(Critical Incident Lead Officer)
Tel: 01263 739064
Mobile: 07887 832413


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