EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSURE POLICY
It may be necessary to close school for a variety of reasons including the following
- Severe weather including snow, flooding or storms
- Disruption to transport, for example through petrol or diesel shortages
- Accommodation problems, for example loss of power supply, heating failures of fire damage
The school will, however endeavour to remain open where possible. School contingency plans will be passed on to staff, parents and pupils. If a closure is prolonged then appropriate tasks may be provided for pupils on the website.
Closure due to severe weather
The decision to close the school will rest with the Headteacher or the Deputy Headteacher and can be confirmed by the Chair of Governors. The decision will be made where possible by 7.15 am and on the basis of information received from the media about weather, supplemented by on the spot observation either personally or from staff members better placed to make such observations and through appropriate external agencies such as the Met Office.
Factors involved in reaching the decision to close the school are likely to be:-
- Access to the school, i.e. road conditions ( obstruction, snow, ice, flooding etc)
- Breakdown of school essential services ( heating, electrical services, water, storm damage etc)
The Headteacher will advise all staff, Governors and parents through the school’s text messaging service and advise parents and pupils to check the school website or listen to local radio stations and monitor their website details of any closures will published:
Radio Lancashire 95.5 FM firstname.lastname@example.org
The whole school community including the Breakfast Club will be made regularly aware of this procedure as an incident may occur with little or no warning.
During School Day Closure Guidance
On occasions it may be necessary for school to close during the school day i.e. if the weather is deteriorating and there is doubt as to whether children can be returned home later in the day. In such cases the school must ensure that all children are collected from school.
Although it is recognised that severe weather conditions make it difficult for staff to get to and from work, unless advised to the contrary by the Headteacher, then the expectation is that staff will present themselves for work.
Contract Staff (Catering or Cleaning Services) will also be advised of any emergency requirements.
Clearance of Snow
Within the school site the school is responsible for snow clearance. The clearing of approach paths, drive and playground is the task of the Site Supervisor and Cleaner. When severe weather is forecast, the Site Supervisor will be tasked to lay salt and grit each morning on arrival.
The clearance of public roads is the responsibility of the Highways Department and staff will not clear public roads or paths. If there is any question of the children being at risk, for instance if the playground area is unsafe then the school has a responsibility to keep the children in doors and safe.
If the school is closed then it is the responsibility of the Headteacher to ensure that the following events happen:-
- The decision is ratified with the Chair of Governors
- The school website is updated
- The information is passed to relevant media agencies as soon as possible
- Notices are placed on both school entrances advising visitors, parents and pupils that school is closed.
- Site Supervisor to staff building to deal with any pupil who arrives at school unescorted and to wait with pupils until collected.
- Inform Lancashire County Council of closure as soon as possible.
- Appropriate tasks for pupils to complete at home may be made available on the website if the closure is prolonged.
The Headteacher will not be expected to complete all these tasks but has the overall responsibility for ensuring each has been carried out.
Reviewed September 2017