The purpose of the document is to:
- Ensure the safety and wellbeing of all pupils and employees should a school have to deal with severe, inclement weather; and
- Ensure that all employees and parents are clear about their roles and responsibilities in the event of severe weather or school closures.
Inclement weather can be defined as snow, ice, and fog, which render journeys extremely hazardous.
Extremely hazardous includes those conditions in which the appropriate authorities advise people not to make unnecessary journeys or indeed travel at all.
The decision to close a school unexpectedly is not taken lightly; it is a decision which will be made by the school (Head Teacher). In all cases we will seek to avoid a school closure unless it is absolutely necessary.
The School aim is to maintain a service to parents and pupils for as long as is reasonably practical. However the interest and safety of children and staff are paramount under these circumstances.
Once a decision to close the school has been made the Head Teacher will:
- Inform the Asset Development Team, Children’s Services Telephone0161 778 0447 or email firstname.lastname@example.org of the closure.
- Notify the Chair of Governors.
- Contact staff by SIMS message that school is closed.
The School Business Manager will:
- Update the School website with a ticker tape message advising parents that school is closed.
- Contact Key 103 Capital Radio and BBC Manchester to ensure details of school closure appear on their website.
- Email parents to inform them that school is closed.
Leave a message on the school answer phone advising that school is closed.
The Head Teacher will try to make a decision as to whether school will remain closed the day after by 4pm. If school is to remain closed the above procedures will be repeated.
A return to school will be notified to parents by email and to staff by text message. The school website and answer phone message will also be updated.
- Keep school informed of any changes to email addresses and contact details.
- Check emails and the website during inclement weather.
- Keep school informed of changes to mobile phone numbers / contact details.
- Contact the Head Teacher by 7.30 am by telephone or text message if you are unable to get into school during inclement weather.
- Check mobile phone and the website for updated messages.
- Keep the Chair of Governors informed.
- Keep the Local Authority informed.
- Ensure that parents are kept informed.
RESPONSIBILITIES / CONSIDERATIONS TO BE TAKEN ACCOUNT OF WHEN DECIDING WHETHER TO CLOSE OR RE OPEN SCHOOL
- Risk Assessment to be carried out to ascertain whether it is safe for children to come to school to include:
- Staffing levels
- Pathways and playground safe to walk on
- Car Park Facilities safe
- Risk of slipping on floors inside school
- Identify which members of staff live close enough to school to be able to make it in.
- Consider if any classes should be prioritised for keeping open / closing.
- Consider the possibility of opening later and closing earlier.
- Consider advising staff / children to wear sensible clothing and footwear.
- Check heating system regularly.
- Check stocks of rock salt.
- Check that matting in entrance areas is in good condition.
- Ensure suitable equipment for removing snow is in school and easily accessible.
- Ensure that pathways are maintained.
NOTE FOR STAFF re INCLEMENT WEATHER
Current weather forecasts indicate that we may be due a period of inclement weather. Please take note of the following:
- Please ensure that the School Business Manager has your up to date mobile phone number, home number and email address.
- Please let the School Business Manager know if you feel that you are within walking distance of school.
- If you are unable to travel to school on any day please contact the Head Teacher by text / telephone message by 7.30am
- Please check the school website for updates
- If a decision is made to close school a text message will be forwarded to you. A message will also appear on the school website and the Galaxy radio website.
- A decision on whether school will remain closed will be made by 4pm if at all possible. You will be notified by text and the school website once the decision has been made.
NOTE FOR CARETAKER re INCLEMENT WEATHER
- During periods of bad weather attend to the procedures below before undertaking normal duties.
- Contact Head Teacher or School Business Manager by 7.30am should you feel school playground / pathways to be unsafe.
- Ensure we have a good stock of rock salt and that this is accessible to all staff.
- Ensure snow shovels are accessible to all staff and in good order.
- Regularly check the heating systems.
- Check water and temperature levels in boiler rooms.
- Check that all radiators are in good working order
- Ensure pathways are kept clear if at all possible.
- Ensure that you have the contact number for Boiler repair / maintenance people.
LETTER TO PARENTS IN ANTICIPATION OF A PERIOD OF INCLEMENT WEATHER
A recent report from the Met Office suggests that there is a high probability that we will experience similar extreme weather conditions that we experienced back in January resulting in the temporary closure of schools in Salford by the Local Authority. There is a possibility that this might again happen within the next few weeks.
School has produced an Inclement Weather Plan a copy of which is attached to this email. Please take time to read this document and familiarise yourselves with the procedures and responsibilities.