Be Your Best by Preparing for the Worst

  • #UKEdChat session 599
  • Education works best when uncertainties are mitigated.
  • Building resilience helps when confronted by the unforeseen.
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I once had a fascinating conversation with my then Headteacher about our fire drill procedure, as part of my role as teacher governor. It was discovered that register lists were printed in advance as, and I quote “the system takes too long to print otherwise.” Asking what happens in case of a real fire I was told that we could do a rough count from what teachers could remember of absences until the registers were printed… in 5 or 10 minutes. Presumably, this is if the printer isn’t the thing that is on fire!

I no longer work at that school.

The past few years have been an endless stream of uncertainties which has thrown our world upside down. A plague, war, cost of living crisis. Few saw these coming, and with the prospect of energy rationing, a real possibility (although more likely in mainland Europe than the UK) will this be the next shock, and are schools ready?

As the great sage, Donald Rumsfeld once warned, there are unknown unknowns, but having robust plans in place for a range of eventualities means you can more readily adapt to the unforeseen.

In this #UKEdChat session, which took place on Thursday 28th April 2022 at 8pm(UK), we discussed how to make real contingency plans for a range of scenarios, and what individual teachers can do to support the school and the wider community.


  1. How much do you know about your school’s emergency planning and how much input do you give?
  2. What is the culture of risk assessment and emergency planning in your school, and how could it be improved?
  3. How can your school’s procedures be improved to deal with expected emergencies, such as snow days, power cuts etc?
  4. What efforts are made to build resilience and prepare for unexpected emergencies?
  5. What can individual teachers do to help the community when emergencies arise?
  6. What best practice for contingency planning have you seen?
  7. What is the role of senior leaders when emergencies happen and what qualities are needed?
  8. What school emergencies do you have experience with, and what did you learn?

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About @ICTmagic 775 Articles
Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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