Woodleigh School – Emergency Information
The safety of Woodleigh School students is of highest priority for all school staff and management. Please read through the information below, and keep your school contact details up to date in order to be informed of our emergency procedures.
Communicating with families in the case of an emergency
Please note that we have a number of ways in which we will be able to communicate with you in the instance of an emergency:
- Via this website
- Via the Woodleigh School App – Download HERE for Apple iPhone users • Download HERE for Android device users
- Via a bulk email or SMS notification (Please ensure your telephone details are up to date. If you are unsure, please contact your relevant campus reception)
- Via our Emergency Telephone Information Line (5971 6155).
THIS IS A RECORDED SERVICE ONLY and will contain key information in the case of an emergency, such as a bushfire.
Important: Bushfire Safety Procedures
As we are all very aware, the risk of summer bushfires is always high in our region. The system to rate fire danger is now consistent across Australia. In particular, the top Fire Danger Rating (FDR – see details below) is ‘Code Red’ with no qualification.
FIRE DANGER RATING
The Fire Danger Rating predicts how a fire would behave if one started, including how difficult it would be to put out – the higher the rating, the more dangerous the conditions. The rating is your trigger to act, so to stay safe you need to stay aware of the Fire Danger Rating in your district.
During the fire season, the Fire Danger Rating will feature in weather forecasts and be broadcast on radio and TV and appear in some newspapers. It can also be found on the CFA home page (www.cfa.vic.gov.au) and on the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Bureau of Meteorology websites or by calling the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.
The School takes part in annual audits of its fire safety preparedness. All of our campuses are in or are surrounded by tracts of bush that expose us to elevated risk on ‘Code Red’ and ‘Catastrophic’ days. Furthermore, most of our bus routes travel through fire prone areas and many families live in fire prone areas, and the Mornington Peninsula is generally rated a high risk zone.
Closure on 'Code Red' warning days
All campuses of Woodleigh School will be closed on any day in which a ‘Code Red’ fire warning is declared for the Central Forecast District in Victoria.
NO services will be provided on such days (i.e. there will be no teaching staff in attendance) and each family will need to make their own decisions about what to do on the basis of their own specific circumstances (e.g. families in rural areas may consider relocating their children into safer urban areas, possibly off the Peninsula). Please advise your workplaces that on these days you will need to be making arrangements to accommodate your children.
This will happen automatically whenever a ‘Code Red’ day is called for the Central District. You must remain alert to media announcements on days where there is a potential risk, and you SHOULD NOT ASSUME the School will contact you to confirm this: the closure will be automatic. It is important to check that the ‘Code Red’ applies to the CENTRAL FORECAST DISTRICT (which includes Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula) and not other districts.
On days of ‘Extreme’ Fire Danger (one level down from ‘Code Red’) for the Central Forecast District, the School will remain open but may have modified programs at some or all levels.
On days of lower danger (e.g. ‘Severe’ or lower), the School will operate normal programs. If, however, an emergency situation should develop unexpectedly during any day, we have detailed procedures in place to deal with this – set out below. It is most important you discuss your family’s personal bushfire plans with your children.
In providing this information, I don’t wish to seem alarmist, but the bushfire threat on the Peninsula is real. I hope this information reassures you that we have detailed procedures in place for your children’s safety.
We will also rehearse emergency fire drills with all students in the early days of the school year and again once a term during the year, so that all know exactly what to do in the case of a real threat.
In an emergency during the school day, Minimbah students will evacuate to the Hall initially, where they can take cover or be bussed out, depending on the situation.
Similarly, Woodleigh Campus and Penbank students will evacuate to their respective campus Gymnasiums. We will keep students in our care until released into parents’ care or until we are advised by the authorities that the danger is over, however long this may take.