Policy for Adverse Weather Conditions
It is the policy of the school to make every effort to remain open whenever possible. The decision to close the school either before or during the school day will be made by the Head Teacher. The school will only be closed if one or more of the following conditions apply:
1. Insufficient staff are able to come in to keep the school running safely.
2. Conditions on site are dangerous or health and safety cannot be maintained
3. Conditions are considered to be or are anticipated to later become too hazardous for travel.
Staff are expected to attend for work at school, even if the school is closed to children, as long as it is safe for them to make their way there. Their work in school will be agreed by the senior management team. Where adverse weather conditions cause staff delays or difficulties in travelling to work, they should take all reasonable steps to make their way to school as soon as they possibly can, taking into account their personal safety. If staff are unable to get into work, they should telephone nursery at the earliest possible opportunity to explain the situation and agree what to do. Staff should continue to monitor the weather conditions during the day to see if they can attend work later, for example the afternoon.
If staff are unable to travel to work, it is expected that they work from home (planning, preparation, recording and assessment systems are on-line in a secure area of the website; staff can also read and research articles to develop their practice).
If the school is to close:
1. The closure will be notified to Derbyshire County Council by the Head Teacher. This information will be displayed to the public via DCC website. The media will then broadcast details.
2. Notification of the closure will be added to the school website and Facebook as soon as possible.
3. Staff will use the above channels for information and may also be notified directly by text from the Head Teacher. They are to make their way to school if they are able to travel safely.
The school will make all practicable efforts to keep parents informed as to the situation with the school during adverse weather conditions, as we appreciate that such conditions and the uncertainty places very considerable difficulties upon parents. However parents are expected to check the websites and/or make themselves aware of the radio broadcasts when it is clear that a closure is a possibility.
The school appreciates that during bad weather children may arrive later than normal; parents should endeavour to contact the school to let them know they are on their way if likely to be delayed. The school recognises there will be isolated instances where families are cut off, even where the clear majority of children can get into school. In such instances parents should inform the school of the circumstances of this exceptional situation. Where the school is officially closed, all absence is counted as authorised absence.
Weather deterioration during the day
In the event of the school having to close during the day due to unforeseen worsening weather or similar unforeseen circumstances, parents will be contacted by phone either at home or work and asked to collect their child.. Such an early release will only be contemplated in extreme circumstances.
Staff who are likely to face particular difficulties in getting home may have to leave work early, taking into account their personal safety. This decision will be taken in collaboration with the headteacher. Minimum cover arrangements in school will be provided by employees who do not have a particularly long or difficult journey home to ensure staffing ratios are maintained for the safety of the children.
In the event of snow some pathways will be cleared and salted. Parents, children, staff and visitors should be aware that pathways, even where cleared, may remain dangerous.
In icy conditions the caretaker will salt wide pathways as follows:
A) Along the pavement which runs down the side of the car park
B) From the gate to the car park to the front entrance doors
C) The lower tarmac area of the playground (if sufficient time)
Where necessary, essential pathways will be maintained as clear as possible throughout the day. The car park will not necessarily be cleared of ice and snow and staff should be aware that due care must be taken at all times.
On school days where the school is closed to pupils, the pathway will still be maintained during snow and icy weather on a daily basis by the caretaker, so as to keep the pathways clear and prevent build-up of ice and snow.
During adverse weather conditions, parts of the outdoor playground may be restricted in use for the children. This will be risk assessed by the supervising outdoor staff and/or headteacher.
In the headteacher’s absence the Senior teacher on site will assume
responsibility for making all decisions relating to the Adverse Weather Policy.