Heritage College will follow the advice and guidelines outlined in the State Government’s policy on bushfire protection, as well as advice received from the Association of Independent Schools (AISSA) and instructions from the CFS to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff who live in or travel through high risk bushfire areas.
As part of our Critical Incident Management Strategy, Heritage College has contingency arrangements in place to cater for the needs of students, parents and staff in the following situations:
Catastrophic Code Red Fire Danger Days
- On days of declared Catastrophic Fire Danger, school bus services that normally travel through affected Fire Ban Districts will be cancelled. For us, this will mean that the Hills Bus (Paul’s) will not operate if catastrophic conditions are forecast for the Mt Lofty Ranges Fire Ban District. The Southern Bus (Frank’s) will take a different route and families will be notified of arrangements.
- In such instances, the CFS will provide as much forewarning to the public and to us as is practicable in the circumstances. Final confirmed warnings of catastrophic days will normally be issued by the Bureau of Meteorology after 4:00 pm on the day before the danger day.
- The College will attempt to notify all parents with students on affected bus runs by SMS as soon as official confirmation is announced.
If a fire starts or escalates in the Mt Lofty Ranges District during a school day
- The College will determine the area or the transport routes which are at risk, taking into account advice and instructions from the CFS.
- Students and staff who normally travel to and from the area(s) at risk will be contacted and briefed before the end of the school day.
- Where possible, an SMS message will be sent to parents in the regions affected by the warning. It is vital that the College has your correct mobile telephone number.
- Students who live in a declared bushfire emergency zone will be supervised at school and only permitted to leave if collected by either a parent or a person nominated by the parent. The College will endeavour to contact parents if the responsible person designated by the family has not collected the student.
- In the case of students in Senior School who are drivers and are registered as such, parents may nominate a ‘safe house’ address of a relative or friend to which that student may go. It is absolutely vital that students who are driving to school have their details properly and accurately registered with us so that we can contact them in the case of an emergency.
- Those students who do not have safe refuge and accommodation will be supervised at the College until other arrangements can be made.
- In the event that one of our buses is unable to operate in the morning because of an overnight fire, the College will endeavour to contact families affected by this situation.
- During bushfire emergencies when it is necessary to keep students safely at the College, our main telephone number, 8266 5122, will have staff in attendance.
- The College will cancel any excursions to regions which are on high bushfire alerts or where travel through such areas is required.
ADVICE TO PARENTS
Parents are asked to make contingency plans for any bushfire emergency (including how you would manage the movement of your children to and from school on days of extreme fire danger or in an emergency).
If your details have changed or that of a specifically nominated person for contact in regard to collection of your children at the end of the school day in the event of a bushfire emergency, please advise the College of these changes by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.