Telephone Call Recording - Security Alert

Schools put on Alert!

Due to a recent spate of bomb hoax calls made to a number of schools in the UK, the schools were closed and the matters handled by the police. Shortly after this incident the following memo was sent out by the department for education advising all schools to check their current call recording facilities and where possible make the necessary changes to ensure all calls are recorded in the future to help with manage the threat of possible future occurrences.

The Department of Education advised  Leaders of Schools and other Educational Establishments to Review their Protective Security.

Following a series of malicious hoax communications to schools across the UK it is important that establishments are alert, but not alarmed. This is an opportunity for security plans to be reviewed and confirm that arrangements that are already in place are still current and have been tested to ensure staff and students are prepared and confident.

Consider what steps you could take to:

1.      reassure your staff, students and parents

2.      review and implement proportionate protect and prepare security planning.

1. Bomb threats: Procedures for handling bomb threats. Most bomb threats are made over the phone and the overwhelming majority are hoaxes, made with the intent of causing alarm and disruption. Any hoax is a crime and, no matter how ridiculous or unconvincing, must be reported to the police.

Dial 999 and police will respond. You should always consider their advice before a decision is taken to close or evacuate.

If this prompts you to review your emergency planning, consider the following:

2. Search Planning: Do you have plans to search your site to deal effectively with either bomb threats or for secreted threat items; are your staff and students familiar with those plans and what to do if they find a suspicious item?

Good housekeeping reduces the opportunity for suspicious items to be placed and assists effective search.

3. Evacuation planning: It is vital that you are able to move your staff and students away from danger in a controlled way. Ensure you have a number of options available, well sign-posted and notified to people on your site. Keep routes clear.

Sometimes it may be safer to remain inside a building; identify the most suitable internal spaces that staff and students can move to.

4. STAY SAFE Guidance for firearms and weapons attacks: Do your staff follow the Stay Safe principles RUN HIDE TELL?

5. Staff Awareness and Security Culture: Have you briefed your staff on how they can recognise suspicious activity?

6. Preparedness: Are your first aid kits and emergency grab bags checked regularly, complete and accessible?

7. Physical Security: Have you checked CCTV systems? Are they all working correctly? Are the date/time stamps accurate?

8. Mail handling: a threat may still exist from items delivered to your establishment by hand or by post. Are your staff familiar with indicators for suspicious deliveries?

9. Further advice: is available at:

There is no change to the UK terrorist threat level, which remains at SEVERE; meaning an attack is highly likely.