Comprehensive School Safety Framework

The goals of comprehensive school safety are to (1) protect learners and education workers from death, injury and harm in schools, (2) plan for educational continuity in the face of expected hazards, (3) safeguard education sector investments, and (4) strengthen climate-smart disaster resilience through education.

Safe Learning Facilities

Safe Learning Facilities involves education authorities, architects, engineers, builders and school community members in safe site selection, design, construction and maintenance (including safe and continuous access to the facility). The key responsibilities for both public and private schools are to:

Select safe school sites and implement disaster-resilient design and construction to make every new school a safe school.

Implement prioritization schema for retrofit and replacement (including relocation) of unsafe schools.

Minimize building and facilities non-structural and infrastructural risks from all sources, including design as well as interior layout and furnishings safe for survival and evacuation.

Incorporate access and safety for people with disabilities in design and construction of school facilities.

If schools are planned as temporary community shelters, design them to meet these needs. And be sure to plan for suitable alternate facilities for educational continuity.

Ensure that children’s access to schools is free from physical risks (pedestrian paths, road and river crossings)

Water and sanitation facilities adapted to potential risks (rain-fed and lined latrines)

Implement climate-smart interventions such as rainwater harvesting, solar panels, renewable energy, school gardens

Plan for continuous monitoring, financing and oversight for ongoing facilities maintenance and safety.

School Disaster Management

School Disaster Management is established via national and sub-national education authorities and local school communities (including children and parents), working in collaboration with their disaster management counterparts at each jurisdiction, in order to maintain safe learning environments and plan for educational continuity, conforming to international standards. The key responsibilities are to:

Provide policies, guidance at sub-national and school-site levels for ongoing site-based assessment and planning, risk reduction, and response preparedness as part of normal school management and improvement.

Develop, train, institutionalize, monitor and evaluate school-site committees. These should be empowered to lead identification and mapping of hazards inside and outside school and community and action-planning for ongoing disaster risk reduction and preparedness activities. Encourage participation of staff, students, parents and community stakeholders in this work.

Adapt standard operating procedures as needed, for hazards with and without warnings, including: drop cover and hold, building evacuation, evacuation to safe haven, shelter-in-place and lockdown, and safe family reunification.

Engage schools in making early warning and early action systems meaningful and effective.

Establish national and sub-national contingency plans, based on Interagency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Minimum Standards (2010), to support educational continuity, including plans and criteria to limit the use of schools as temporary shelters.

Identify alternate locations for temporary schools and alternate modes of instruction

Incorporate the needs of pre-school and out-of-school children, children with disabilities, and both girls and boys.

Link education sector and disaster management sector policies and plans at each level of social organization (national, sub- national levels, and local and school-site level) and establish communication and coordination linkages across sectors.

Practice, critically evaluate, and improve on response preparedness, with regular school-wide and community- linked simulation drills. Adapt standard operating procedures to specific context of each school.

Risk Reduction and Resilience Education

Risk Reduction and Resilience Education should be designed to develop a culture of safety and resilient communities. Key responsibilities are to:

Develop consensus-based key messages for reducing household and community vulnerabilities, and for preparing for and responding to hazard impacts as a foundation for formal and non-formal education.

Engage students in real-life school and community disaster management activities, including school drills for fire (and other hazards, where applicable).

Develop scope and sequence for teaching about critical thinking for expected and unexpected, man-made and natural hazards, climate change impacts, conflict-prevention and problem-solving for risk reduction.

Develop quality teaching and learning materials for students and teachers. Address all dimensions of climate-smart DRR education: disaster mechanisms, key messages for safety and preparedness, understanding risk drivers and mitigating the consequences of disasters, building community risk reduction capacity and a culture of safety and resilience.

Infuse risk reduction throughout the curriculum and provide guidelines for integration of DRR into carrier subjects.

Provide teacher training for both teachers and teacher trainees on risk reduction curriculum materials and methodologies.

Develop strategies to scale-up teacher involvement for effective integration of these topics into formal curriculum as well as non-formal and extra-curricular approaches with local communities.