There are occasions especially during the winter months when adverse weather such as a heavy snowfall or extremely icy conditions could make it difficult for the school to open on time due to staff finding it difficult to travel in or indeed the inclement weather would deem the decision to be made to close the school to pupils. We sincerely hope that closures due to adverse weather are rare however this procedure is in place to inform our parent body and to ensure that everyone remains safe.
If a decision is made to close the school:
This is made by 6.00 a.m. in the morning (or can be during the course of the day if the weather drastically alters). The decision to close is made by the Headteacher and the Chair of Governors. The factors that are used to determine this decision are: Is the Site safe? Are the staff and children able to get to school safely? Is the right number of staff able to get to school for the pupils?
We have a grapevine; the first contact is to the member of staff who puts the closure notice on the website – the notice is always placed on the front home page. If the decision to close is made first thing in the morning, the staff inform each other by following the grapevine.
Essex County Council is informed by the Headteacher, as soon as the decision is made. Often there are countless other schools trying to register their closure and it may take time to filter through. If we need to close school because of snow or bad weather we will show any closures on our website and inform Essex County Council.
For an all day closure, our Site Manager and other members of staff on our estate as appropriate come down to the school to put closure notices on the gates, to start moving snow, clearing paths, gritting and they remain on site until they are sure that any families that may have not learnt the school is shut are informed.
Unless otherwise stated on our website the school would normally open the following day. If there is no closure notice on the home page we are open.
We politely request that parents/carers do not do the following:
- Keep ringing the school to see if we are going to close – this applies especially if the children are in school and the decision to close may happen later in the day due to the icy/snowy weather changing for the worse.
- Get cross or tetchy at our staff if they telephone you to inform you of a school closure during the day and you already have picked up your child or indeed your child was off sick. Our staff will do their utmost to ensure you are informed as early as possible and have to go through the individual data sheets not the registers as these sheets contain the telephone contact information.
- Be negative about our school and the actions of our staff across social media especially when the comment is a speculation and unfounded – such negativity would have a detrimental impact on the school’s name and can, if deemed appropriate, be reported to the authorities and prosecution may follow.