As we are all aware, when the snow comes it creates havoc with transport or communications and under such circumstances it is often very difficult for the staff who live several miles away, to get in to school for the start of the day. On the other hand, because the vast majority of our pupils live locally, most of them manage to arrive on time. Clearly, this means that we could have almost a full complement of pupils and only part of the staff. In the event of extreme weather, we operate a “Snow Plan” which ensures that all the pupils are looked after and are safe.
In matters related to adverse weather conditions, we will keep the school open whenever possible, provided the safety of children and staff can be maintained. However there may be occasions for where, due to the health and safety of children and staff, we have to close the school. The importance of clear communication is essential and this plan outlines our procedure in such circumstances.
There may be occasions when the school has to close as a result of extreme weather conditions. If this scenario occurs this winter, we need to know that all parents are aware of the actions which will be taken. As soon as a decision to close school is taken, information will be posted on the school website and a message will be sent to parents via Facebook or as a text message. Updates will also posted in the school’s Twitter feed.
All Leeds schools are able to complete a simple reporting process either on the day of the closure or the day before. A notification will then be added to a live feed on the emergency school closures page on the council’s website
Local radio stations have always been extremely helpful in not only listing school closures online, but also using their airtime to keep people informed. They will continue to support us in getting vital school closure messages out in as many ways as possible, including signposting listeners to the school closures page on the council’s website.
The decision to stay open or close the school is made by 8.00a.m. This will be based on;
- the ability of staff to get into school
- the safety /conditions in the building, given the weather
- the likelihood of weather becoming even worse during the day.
The school phone is likely to be very busy and it may not be possible to get through, so we would ask parents to use the means of communication outlined above instead. THEREFORE PLEASE DO NOT PHONE THE SCHOOL TO ASK IF WE ARE OPEN.
Once this decision has been made to close the school it will not be reversed, even if weather conditions improve. Please accept our apologies in advance if the decision turns out to be the wrong one but we have to decide on the basis of the information we have at the time and with enough notice to allow parents to make childcare arrangements.
After School Club:
On any snowy day, there is a strong possibility that we may be unable to After School Clubs. If there has been a heavy snowfall during the day, you should expect that After School Clubs will be cancelled. You will be informed via the website, text, Facebook and Twitter.
Advice to Parents and Carers for extreme weather conditions
- IF IT HAS SNOWED PLEASE DO NOT SEND CHILDREN TO SCHOOL BY THEMSELVES AS YOU MAY NEED TO TAKE THEM HOME IF MESSAGES HAVE NOT GOT THROUGH TO YOU IF SCHOOL HAS HAD TO CLOSE.
- If the school has to close because of extreme conditions during school hours, the school will text/call you to collect your child.
- Parents will have been notified of this closure by way of a text message, plus a message posted on the school website and Facebook account.
- If conditions are bad the following morning and our school remains closed, please check our website for updates and a ParentMail message from us.
- No snowballing. This is in the best interests of health and safety for all pupils, staff and visitors. The children will get the chance, if they wish to, to throw snowballs at playtime subject to school’s discretion.
Advice for Staff
- The school will remain open as normal except for extreme weather conditions.
- The expectation is that if safe to do so, staff are to make their way to school.
- Staff who drive to school may consider a different form of transport.
- Our aim is to continue to provide our service to the families and community we serve despite weather conditions.
- The Co-Principals will inform both staff and parents as soon as possible if the school is to be closed
- Staff are encouraged and reminded to check the :
- School Website and Local Authority website (as above)
- Approved radio stations
- Text messages
- Late Arrival of staff – the school accepts that in the event of snow, staff may be delayed in arriving on time, please inform the main reception of this, and continue to update the school on your expected time of arrival. The school will undertake to ensure all classes are supervised by another member of staff.
Guidance for Site Manager/Caretaker
- Gates to playgrounds remain locked
- Footpath to Reception entrance to be cleared and gritted/ Staff Park to be gritted and footpath created for staff to access the main buildings safely.
- Check heating temperatures in the school and water temperatures.
- Liaise with the Co-Principals about any risks /concerns regarding staff and pupil safety.
Q&A – snowy days when school is open
Will I be contacted in the event of snow?
There will be communication via the methods outlined above. However, school will not contact parents individually as a matter of course.
Should I travel to school or not?
Always check the website, Facebook feed and your text messages first. Parents and staff have to decide whether it is safe for them to make the journey to school. Where possible, the school will try to ensure that there is someone at school to greet the pupils, but if you arrive at school and no member of staff is present your children must remain your responsibility and should not be left unattended at school. Please wait with them until a member of staff arrives.
Will there be after-school clubs or lessons?
No. Please keep the office informed if you are delayed on your way to collect the children. As always, we will look after the pupils until you get to us.
When should I collect my child?
Parents who decide to bring their children to school are welcome to collect their child at 3.30 p.m. as per usual.
Impact on education
On days when the school has restricted opening, children may not be taught by their usual teachers or in their usual classes, as we may not have our full quota of staff. However, we will ensure that we have an educationally valid day. If there is a prolonged closure of the school, staff will advise on work that may be completed via the school website or dojo.
Support if stranded in school
A member of staff will stay in school until all children have been collected.