Aim of the plan
This plan covers the contingencies made for a heavy snowfall which may result in enforced school closure or restricted opening.
This plan aims to prevent:
The stranding of pupils and staff
Unnecessary risks travelling to and from school through good communication
Excessive impact on children’s education by alternative means of support
Accidents in the school through good risk assessment
It is our intention that the school will be open on all normal school days even when some poor road conditions exist. However, in the event of a heavy snowfall, we cannot guarantee that staff will be able to attend school and a decision to close or restrict school opening may have to be made.
If the school is closed, a member of staff (where possible) will be available at school to ensure that messages and communication are maintained for the first two hours of closure (8.30 – 10.30). Thereafter, the school will be empty. Should it not be possible for a member of staff to be in school we will ensure that the office email address is checked and responses sent where possible: email@example.com
If there is an enforced school closure, we cannot look after children. However, those already delivered to school prior to a decision being made will be looked after until they can be collected.
If the weather conditions are severe enough to force closure or restricted opening, this decision will be communicated by the following means:
Via the school website - look at the yellow scrolling banner on the home page
Via an email from ‘News’ account
Local radio where possible
The decision to close the school will be taken by the Head and Chair of Governors and will be taken by 8.30am at the latest.
Restricted opening – where school is open but some staff may be unable to attend or where weather conditions may prevent some pupils from attending:
The senior member of staff on site will organize the staffing allocations irrespective of normal responsibilities. The priorities will be (in order of importance):
1. Safe supervision of the children.
2. Continuity of education for Year 6 and Year 2.
3. Continuity of education for other year groups.
It may not be possible to meet all these priorities. Alternative activities matched to the age of the children and the skills of the staff member will be offered if priority 3 is not possible.
Parents are asked to exercise extreme caution when dropping off or collecting children by car. We recommend parking in the Farm Shop Car Park (for which we have obtained permission) and not coming into the village. We will relax our normal high expectations of punctuality and no child will receive a late mark. At the end of the day, the children should be collected as usual but there will be no after-school clubs or staff meetings. Parents who wish to collect their children early due to the road conditions may do so.
Alternative arrangements in the event of a closure:
If you wish to give consent for your child to be able to go home with another family when a sudden closure is required please confirm in writing the name of alternative adults. The school office will add these to our database.
If you work a considerable distance from school, or are out of the area for any reason, this facility should ensure that you are not required to make an unsafe journey to come and collect your child.
As above, once a decision is made. 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.
Q&A – snowy days when school is open
Will I be contacted in the event of snow?
Yes, by one of the methods outlined above. However, school will not contact parents individually.
Do I need to contact school?
If you decide not to travel because of the road conditions, please let us know so that we know the children are safe. This can be via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or the school phone line (01246) 583203. If you are planning to come in to school but may be late, please also let the office know so we can make suitable provision for lunch and allocate children to classes which may be not be the usual groupings.
Should I travel to school or not?
Always check the website. 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.
Will there be after-school clubs?
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 there.
Will there be outdoor playtimes?
Yes. Outdoor playtimes will still take place as long as the senior member of staff on site, in consultation with the Caretaker, deems it safe to do so. Pupils will be asked to wear suitable clothes and footwear. They should also bring some changes of clothing, including socks.
When should I collect my child?
Parents who decide to bring their children to school are welcome to collect their child early if it suits them, otherwise please collect at 3.15.
What will be the 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 which will include English and Maths at an appropriate level. If there is a prolonged closure of the school, staff will advise work that may be completed via the school website.
Support if stranded in school: A member of staff will stay in school until all children have been collected.
Food – the school kitchen holds a small stock of food throughout the term which can be used to ensure a snack for anyone stranded.
Heat – as the system is gas-fired, this should not be affected. In the event of breakdown and the necessity to close the school, communication will be through the means outlined above.
Snow Clearance and Salting –When the site is snowy or icy a small number of designated access routes will be identified and kept clear and gritted, by the Caretaker. Thick snow may not be cleared as this can be safer than a cleared route that has frozen. Compacted snow will be cleared and ice will be gritted. We will keep parents informed via e-mail of any clearing sessions should parents wish to help in our efforts to open the school.