Critical Incident, Trauma and Bereavement

Updated: 22/08/16

The Critical Incident Support Service provides support to schools, academies, independent schools and Early Years settings in a Critical Incident. Procedures for dealing with a Critical Incident can be found in the ‘Red Book’.

An example of 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.


We work in partnership with professionals in other agencies (health, police, voluntary agencies, etc.) to offer the best possible support to schools.

In 2014-2015 one in five Norfolk Schools/Academies has used the Critical Incident Support Service, and over the last ten years over 50% of all schools have accessed it.

In addition to responding to incidents, the Critical Incident Lead Officer provides consultations in relation to bereavement issues, and supports settings in referring children to appropriate services. You can also access free places on our training sessions. We offer training for senior 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’, which is also available as in-house training.

The Critical Incident Lead Officer is also currently involved with work relating to suicide prevention (schools), as well as the teaching of death and bereavement.

Please see the ‘Information‘ section for further resources for subscribing members. You can purchase the annual Critical Incident Support Subscription via the Services for Schools website.



If you would like further details, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Dr Bianca Finger-Berry (Critical Incident Lead Officer)


Mobile:      07887 832413

Tel:     01263 739064


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.’


Signup for an Account

For further content, please log in or register...