A student safety plan is a plan developed for a student whose behaviour is known to pose an ongoing risk to themselves, other students, workers or other people in general. It can serve as a crisis-response plan that outlines the roles and responsibilities of the workers in dealing with specific risk of injury behaviours. The development of a student safety plan involves all workers who work on an ongoing basis with a student, as well as parents and the representatives from any community agencies working with the student/family (Caring and Safe Schools in Ontario, 2010).

A student safety plan can be created for a student who is, or is not, receiving special education programs and services who meets the above criteria.

Recommended components of a student safety plan

  1. Description of the observable risk of injury behaviour concerns
  2. Triggers or antecedents
  3. Prevention and intervention strategies to support workers and student safety
  4. Communication procedures for all workers (teaching and non-teaching) whether permanent or occasional
  5. Emergency communication procedures for all workers

Who should be involved in the development of a student safety plan?

  1. All school board workers who have direct and routine involvement with the student
  2. School administration
  3. Parents and/or guardians should be consulted
  4. If appropriate, community agency workers working with the student or family can also be consulted

The student safety plan should be reviewed and updated regularly to see what can be learned and improved in the interest of student and worker safety. School boards should consider reviewing and updating a student safety plan:

  1. when there is a change in behaviour that could increase the potential for a violent incident or risk of injury to self and/or others
  2. when there is a violent incident involving a student; and
  3. at least annually.

Procedures should be in place so that all workers (teaching and non-teaching, permanent or occasional) have access to the student safety plan.

Particular attention should be paid to preparing for the following scenarios:

  • occasional workers in an elementary or secondary setting where students move from classroom to classroom
  • central workers reporting to the school in the course of their duties, e.g., professional student services personnel or maintenance workers
  • request for police services and students with special education learning needs

Practices to consider

School boards should consider storing the student safety plan independently of the Ontario Student Record (OSR) in order to facilitate information sharing as required under OHSA, while being mindful of legislative requirements regarding privacy.

When creating the student safety plan educators may wish to consider first creating a Behaviour Support Plan to assist in better understanding the functions of the student’s behaviours and how they may be improved. (For more information, refer to Appendix D: Behaviour Support Plans and Positive Behaviour Supports for Students).

If a student is receiving special education programs and services it may be appropriate to consider strategies found in both the Behaviour Support Plan and the Student Safety Plan in the creation of the Individual Education Plan (IEP), as they may inform good practice in programming to support the student’s needs. (For more information, refer to Appendix E: The Individual Education Plan.)

For more on the issue of information sharing, including personal information, refer to Provision of Personal Information Regarding Persons with a History of Violent Behaviour.