Serious Incidents in Schools


Please call School Operations: Main line - 6205 3313 or Email:

What is Serious Incident Reporting?

Incident reporting is designed to inform appropriate areas of the Education Support Office (ESO) about incidents that may:

  • require new or increased support from ESO or other agencies
  • attract interest from the Minister’s office, media or the community
  • be classified by ESO as critical

Reporting on incidents quickly and accurately ensures that schools get the support they need, and that staff are adequately protected and supported.

What Incident categories need reporting?

  • Emergency service attendance - any incident that requires the attendance of emergency services personnel.
  • Injury to staff - A staff member has died or has suffered an injury or mental distress as the result of an incident.
  • Injury to student - A student has died or suffered a significant or serious injury that requires external medical attention (e.g. ambulance, ongoing treatment).
  • Student Welfare Concern - The school has received information about a student that causes concern for their welfare (e.g. threats of self-harm, suicide, drug use, cyber/social media abuse/bullying, abscondence, neglect, abuse).
  • Natural disaster - The school has been affected by a natural disaster (fire, flood, severe weather).
  • Illegal activity - illegal activity (drug/alcohol abuse, vandalism, bomb threats etc) at the school or by school students/staff has impacted school operations; or unknown persons have approached students or entered school grounds with possible intent to cause harm.
  • Nuisance/threatening behaviour - threatening, disruptive or aggressive behaviour by students, staff or visitors to (or around) the school has impacted school operations or caused injury/significant mental distress.
  • Facilities Damage - School buildings, assets or facilities are damaged, stolen or not working due to an incident (e.g. fire, vandalism, theft).

How do I report these Incidents?

All incidents must be reported on SAS/Sentral as well as through School Operations on X53313 or email

What other responsibilities do schools have for incident reporting?

Schools have a responsibility to report on specific issues for regulatory and compliance purposes. As a guide, if an incident results in:

  • A notifiable workplace injury incident - contact Worksafe ACT on 6207 3000 or email: (within 48 hours) or through Access Canberra using the online notifiable incident report form and email: or call on 6207 0614.
  • Injury to a staff member - complete a RISKMAN report (tick Notifiable incident box) email:
  • Injury to a student - complete Accident/injury report on SAS/Sentral and email:
  • Damage/loss of facilities/buildings/assets - Contact Infrastructure and Capital Works by email:
  • Concern about a student’s welfare - Complete a mandatory report to CYPS on 1300 556 728 or Access Canberra using the online Child concern report.

Injury/incident involving a preschool student - for incidents involving preschool students please notify and complete an injury notification form and submit via within 24 hours.

How do I report a serious incident?

As soon as possible (within 1 hour of the incident occurring) contact the School Operations Incident Management Team (6205 3313) with an initial notification. Include:

  • Name of school.
  • Nature of incident.
  • Current status.

As soon as possible following an incident (on the same day wherever possible), provide additional information to the School Operations Incident Management Team. Information can be provided via email ( or by phone (6205 3313). Include:

  • SAS/Sentral incident reference number.
  • The name of any student involved.
  • The name of any other person involved in the incident, and their role.
  • Information about the events that led to the incident occurring.
  • The current status of the incident, including updated information regarding people that have been injured.
    • What actions have been taken already (e.g. suspensions, other reporting, transport to hospital, staff debrief).
    • What actions will be taken to follow-up on the incident.

If necessary, provide information that is available and follow up with additional information later, particularly related to follow-up actions. It is critical that the incident is reported quickly to the Incident Management Team, to ensure appropriate actions and supports are in place.

Depending on the incident, School Operations may convene an incident response team to support the school in the immediate management of the incident and coordinate ongoing support and follow-up actions.


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