Best Practice

Handling critical incidents

Handling a critical incident in your school is one of the toughest challenges of headship. John Rutter discusses how he managed when a pupil brought a knife into his school

My heart sank as soon as the pupil bolted out of school with his bag – it looked as if we may have a fairly major incident on our hands.

Having challenged him over a report from another pupil that he had a knife in his bag, it seemed unlikely he would have done a runner if he had nothing to hide.

By the time he returned protesting his innocence 10 minutes later the police had arrived – along with his parents – and interrogation led to confession and the uncovering of the offensive weapon in a bush down the road outside of the school.

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