Adverse Weather Conditions
Definition of an exceptional closure
An exceptional closure is unplanned and is due to unforeseen circumstances such as adverse weather conditions, power failure or situations which might affect the safety of the pupils and staff.
The following action plan details the measures which the school will undertake to –
- Ensure the safety of pupils and staff
- Keep parents informed about arrangements for closure and re-opening
- Arrange for pupils to be picked up during the school day should the need arise.
On rare occasions, the weather can be so severe that getting to and from school becomes hazardous. This is especially so if the weather worsens in the afternoon. Really bad weather is disruptive and can cause anxiety and stress. Understandably, many parents ring the school if snow starts falling heavily during the day. It can be frustrating trying to get through when our outside line is engaged by other parents calling for the same reason!
A jammed line and answering queries can in turn delay office staff who are trying to get through to parents to arrange for early collection of children. We will ensure that our website is updated throughout the day using the News section + scrolling banner regarding any developments which mean that the school has had to close unexpectantly. We will also contact parents by text service. (it is important that parents update the school of any changes to mobile phone contacts).
In extreme circumstances, when very bad weather is predicted or has broken out, the school will allow pupils to call parents via their mobile phone. Decisions about closing the school or sending pupils home early are always difficult to make. We need to gather reliable information before making a judgement. We check weather reports, get advice from the WELB and try to access what is happening elsewhere in the area. The decision to close school during a working day is not taken lightly but the over-riding principle is the safety of pupils and staff. It is the responsibility of the Principal, in consultation with senior staff, to determine if the school will close. The decision is taken on an individual basis and not based on those of neighbouring schools whose circumstances may differ. Due to the position of our school, the main approach roads are particularly hazardous to navigate in extreme weather.