Business continuity management
Emergency Management and Business Continuity Management are closely related disciplines and share the same response management structures, however not all business continuity incidents pose an immediate threat to life or limb and therefore do not require a full emergency/incident management response.
What is Business Continuity Management
Business continuity management is the process of planning for and responding to emergencies/critical incidents or other disruptions in order to continue the delivery of the critical services at an acceptable level e.g. the need to ensure continuity of education in schools. Whilst it may be difficult to reduce the likelihood of an external disruptive event occurring, it is possible to put plans in place to reduce or mitigate the impact of such an event. Whatever the cause of the disruption, the impacts usually fall into one or more of these categories:
- Loss or denial of access to premises.
- Loss or shortage of key staff or skills.
- Loss of technology or data.
- Loss of key suppliers, partners or third parties.
The primary aim is to ensure that, unless there is an overwhelming pressure or necessity, the school remains open during term times and that normal routines and timetables are maintained as far as possible.
School Emergency Management
Emergency Management is the ability to respond to an event or situation that threatens the welfare of members of the school community, serious danger to the school environment or the school's security. The lead responsibility to an emergency is the School Emergency Management Team (SEMT)
School Emergency Management and Business Continuity Plan
A School Emergency Management and Business Continuity plan (SEMBCP) provides a school with a framework to manage the impact of the effects of an unexpected emergency/crisis and to identify critical functions to recover as a priority, ensuring the school can deliver key services and meet its statutory obligations.
It is vital that a SEMBCP is specific to the school and contains relevant, concise and up to date information that may be needed urgently during an emergency situation.
Hard and electronic versions of the plan should be stored in a number of pre-identified locations which are shared with the relevant personnel; one location should be offsite. The School Emergency Management Team should have full responsibility for activating the SEMBCP, and each member of the team should have a copy of the plan at home and at school and should be aware of their responsibilities.