Emergency School Closure Procedures
Snow and bad weather procedures
"Schools should, wherever possible, stay open in severe weather. They play a key role in their communities and by staying open help both their pupils and parents.”
Department for Education
Every winter brings the possibility of snow and ice. Extreme bad weather can cause widespread and prolonged disruption. Schools are often affected and it can be difficult to maintain an education service. As a fundamental principle every effort must be made to keep schools open, even if only limited numbers of pupils can attend. There is a legal requirement to keep schools open for children to attend for 190 days per year (380 sessions). However, schools may close due to ‘unavoidable’ circumstances. Those circumstances being that it is no longer safe for staff or pupils to be onsite. We recognise that it is important that our school remains open so parents are able to work and pupils can continue to learn. We will make every effort to prepare for severe snow/ice this winter.
The government has stressed the importance of schools remaining open, wherever possible, as closures have a knock on effect on parents/carers who are key workers in other areas of the public sector, e.g. Health Services, thus undermining crucial service delivery. The overriding principle is, therefore, for schools to remain open to the maximum degree possible, as is consistent with health and safety requirements, even if it is not possible to run a full timetable.
"The decision whether to close must, however, be for headteachers as they know their schools and surrounding areas. They should use common sense in assessing the risks and keep their schools open."
– Department of Education
Mr Britt's decision will be based on the safety of pupils and staff.
It is vital we have sufficient staff to keep the school running effectively and safely during any period of adverse weather.
How will parents know if our school is closed?
The school will log the closure on: http://www.hants.gov.uk/education/schoolclosures.
The school website will advise parents if the school is closed.
The school will send parents an SMS if the school is closed.
The school will also inform parents via a parent mail message.
Local Radio Stations.
What can you do to help?
Please visit http://www3.hants.gov.uk/roads/weather-on-roads for more information about gritting routes and travel issues around Basingstoke so you can plan your journey safely.
Please can you provide a packed lunch from home in case school meals cannot be transported.
Don’t forget suitable warm clothing – gloves, hats, scarves, wellies etc. or even a change of clothing.
If you are a working parent or feel you may have a problem with a sudden earlier pick up, please could you put a back-up plan in place with another family member or parent and inform the school. This will allow staff to leave earlier for their safety if weather dictates.
We as a school will try to keep the school open, but may due to health and safety reasons reduce the school timetable so that pupils and parents can access and leave the school site safely. This will be done in conjunction with the Manor Field junior school and Starlings Preschool
If school is able to open in inclement weather, parents and carers must decide if it is safe to travel.
If conditions deteriorate during the school day and you would like collect your child before the end of the school day we understand the urgency. Please collect as soon as possible - you do not need to phone the school prior to collecting.