Delivering extreme event preparedness education in schools: A systematic review of educational preparedness resources available in England

Ava Hodson*, Julia Pearce, Richard Amlot, Brooke Rogers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Extreme events are infrequent, high impact incidents which can cause a range of physical, emotional, and psychological impacts for those affected. Children and young people in schools can be disproportionately affected by such events. Conversely, schools are often viewed as a platform for teaching and fostering preparedness. The present study aimed to elucidate what educational materials, intended to bolster preparedness for extreme events, are provided to schools in England. We also reviewed the literature related to the roll-out of new compulsory first-aid training for English schools. The study involved a systematic review of academic and grey literature, using academic databases and Google searches to find UK examples of educational preparedness materials. Educational materials which met criteria based on type of resource, target population or context, and preparedness outcomes were included. Twenty-six included items focused on preparing pupils for a range of extreme events, or the delivery of first aid in schools. All were resources to be used by teachers to deliver either stand-alone lessons or support existing lessons in the national curriculum for England. Many were published by national or international organisations or charities (n = 23), fewer were produced at a local level (n = 3). There was no evidence of any formal assessment or evaluation of effectiveness in bolstering preparedness knowledge across school populations. This is, to the authors’ knowledge, the first review of preparedness education in schools within England. Outputs contribute novel findings and guidance for conducting further research in clarifying the needs of school populations and the improvement of preparedness for extreme events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104171
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • extreme events
  • Preparedness
  • schools
  • emergencies
  • disasters
  • England

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