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I am using the time in between xmas and new year (whilst we have fewer children in nursery) to update all the emergency contact details for staff and children. We are becoming computerised at last and all records are to be stored on computer but obviously we need a hard copy of emergency details as well, and at present they have been kept in a folder in the office and then taken out by the manager in event of an emergency. i am wondering what information we have to have in the emrgency file.... do we need children's addresses, or just their name, date of birth and emergency phone numbers. does each room have their own emergency details for the children and staff in that room, or is it okay to have a central file (kept in office).

i am personally favoring the idea of each room having their own details at the back of their registers (which are taken out in an emergency) but wonder where we stand with data protection on this one.

I am also a little concerned that we have to keep registration forms for children locked away, but the emrgency details (which contain at present all personal details) are not locked away.


so in short,


how do you store emrgency details (locked away, or out on shelf/desk in office/rooms)

what info is in the emergency details

and does each room have one,or do you keep the file in the office?




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Hi Dawn,

I'm in a primary school and we don't have separate emergency contact and contact sheets if you get what I mean. On our contact sheets we have Child's full name and address, DOB, who has parental responsibility, allergies/medical conditions, etc. We then have the space for up to 4 emergency contacts - full name, address and home/work/mobile numbers, relationship to child. At the bottom there is a space for parents to fill in thier child's home lang and ethnic origin if they wish.


These records are collected at the beginning of each year (and we ask parents to tell us when they change nos etc so we can ensure these are kept up to date), and when these have been collected they are all kept in the school office in a lockable filing cabinet and also these are put onto the schools management system.


We have been told that we are not allowed to keep contact details in class anymore however I must admit at the beginning of the year I put all the children's addresses and contact numbers on a spreadsheet and this is kept in my own lockable cabinet in my class. I do find that there are lots of times when I have needed tel numbers for the children in my class and I haven't been able to get these out of the cabinet due to secretary being off, keys misplaced, office locked etc. Therefore I do think it is easier if each class/room has their own info but as I say this used to be the case in our school but we have been told now that info like this must be locked away.

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I personally interpret the data protection as a system to ensure confidential information remains confidential and access is only given to appropriatte people, ie: the persons responsible for the childs welfare. With this in mind I think it is ok to have contact details Name, DOB, address, tel No's in the class under the 'supervision' of the teacher who may require such information, and is responsible for ensuring the information is kept confidential. However, when the teacher is not present ie: when school is closed, this information should be locked away. I just think that we should balance the importance of maintaining confidential information with the importance of having access to such information, often in times of emergencies. Trust that supervisors/teachers can maintain confidential information and only use such information as required.


Don't know if that helps or not Dawn, your local Early Years team will, I am sure have an officer who's role it is to give advice on Data protection, so to cover yourself, I'd contact them and see how they interpret the Data protection Act. :o



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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm on the same understanding as Peggy. We keep a copy of childs name, emergency contacts etc in the back of our register. This is locked away when nursery is closed. Then in the event of emergency evacuation, we have the chilrens details should we need to contact them. For example, if the building burned down, we would need to contact parents, and could not possibly drag the filing cabinet outside in a hurry!

I would be also interested to know what other settings do too.

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Our admin lady has a 'locked' copy of all 'impotant' details off site- contact names, my feelings are in event of a major fire, yes ideally you would collect regsiter- but what if you can't for some resaon or other? for example what is a fire started right next to the register in the first place - what if you lose all numbers in the incident?


I feel this way we have a safe back - also you have someone away from the incident that can start the emergency proceedures.



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We have an A4 ring binder with all our registration forms containing all the necessary emergency contact details which is kept with our register in a lockable portable cabinet which comes out of the cupboard into the main hall for every session. I also have another ring binder with copies of all this information at home.


Our emergency details are the names of all parties who can be contacted if the child is poorly or if there is a need to evacuate the building, together with the order in which these people should be contacted. There is information about doctor's name and address, and also a signed declaration of what procedure to follow in the case of emergency treatment being necessary for the child.



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