Bad Weather Procedures
When it snows…
On rare occasions, particularly in winter, the weather can be so severe that getting to and from school becomes hazardous. A school like ours, where a lot of pupils travel on buses, makes things difficult. This is especially so if the weather worsens in the afternoon.
Bad weather by its nature is disruptive and can cause anxiety and stress. Understandably, many parents ring the school if snow starts falling heavily. It can be frustrating when trying to get through when all our outside lines are engaged by other parents calling for the same reason.
Decisions about closing the school or sending pupils home early are always difficult to make. We need to gather reliable information before making a judgment. We check weather reports, get advice from the bus companies, and receive weather warnings from the Local Authority and we try to assess what is happening elsewhere in the country. Some buses may not be available. Operators have to decide whether running vehicles on particular routes in snow and ice is too high a risk. Drivers are rarely available at times other than scheduled school runs. That is why schools often take their lead from the bus companies when deciding what to do.
Here is our advice to you on what to do:-
- If there is severe weather overnight;
- If the weather deteriorates
Severe weather overnight
If the school has to be closed, we will:-
- Send a text message to all parents
- Put a notice on the School Website
- Endeavour to get a message read out on BBC GMR, Key 103, Century FM and Tower FM radio stations
Broadcast Frequencies: BBC GMR 95.1FM and 104.6FM
Do not ring BBC GMR to enquire whether the school is open or closed. After we’ve contacted BBC GMR, the three in-county commercial radio stations will also carry news of closures if we can get through to them.
Broadcast Frequencies: Local Commercial Radio Stations Key 103 – 103FM Century FM – 105.4FM Tower FM – 107.4FM
If any pupil arrives at school unaware of the closure a member of staff will be there to help. Pupils may phone parents without charge to decide whether they should return home or wait to be collected.
If the weather deteriorates during the day
- The school will be closed early only in extreme cases.
- The closure may be staggered. Pupils who live furthest from the school may go first depending on road conditions.
- The decision to close the school will be made by the Headteacher and senior colleagues after consulting the bus companies. The Chair of Governors will be informed if he is available.
- Decisions about early closure will be communicated to staff and pupils as soon as this is appropriate.
- Pupils who use buses will be told of any change to normal routes if this occurs so they can decide the best way home.
- A text message will be sent out to all parents.
- A notice will be put on to the School Website.
- In cases where it is normally necessary for a young person to be brought or collected to and from school – either the school or the pupil will contact the parent/carer to advise what it is felt best to do. This will be undertaken at the early stages of discussions.
- Pupils who can walk home will be sent, preferably in family groups or in the company of other pupils who live near each other.
- School will be kept open with staff on hand until the last pupil has left.
- It is not normally possible for pupils to be given lifts by staff.
How parents can help…
- Firstly check the school website!
- Check your phone for text messages.
- Listen to BBC GMR or the local commercial radio stations for early morning information.
- Assume school is open if you do not hear anything to the contrary.
- Plan ahead with your child what to do in a bad weather emergency.
- Only call the school if you really have to – calls in prevent calls out!