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School Closure Procedures

 

Snow Days – information & procedures

In winter it’s often time for snow! At school, we are aware that the timings of our decisions to close the school are critical for parents and carers, trying to get their children to school and then get to work. Following a heavy overnight snowfall, we always try and take the judgment on school closure as early as possible in the morning. We aim to make this decision early enough for parents/carers to make alternative plans for childcare or, if there is a heavy snow fall during the day, with enough notice as possible for parents/carers to make an alternate pick up arrangement. Whatever the time of day, please be assured that the decision to close the school is taken after considering many factors, particularly the health and safety of our children and staff, and is not taken lightly.      

 

Snowfall Overnight

School Closure

Heavy snowfall overnight may result in access to the school being restricted or may stop children, parents/carers and staff from getting to school safely. If these conditions apply, the following steps will be taken:

  • The Headteacher will evaluate the prevailing conditions at the school site and in the area.
  • Staff will contact the Headteacher as early as possible, but before 7.30am to advise of their capability of getting to work safely. 
  • If access to the school is regarded as too dangerous or there would be too few staff to teach the children, the Headteacher will take the decision to close the school. We aim to make this decision by 7.45am, particularly to assist parents and carers of children attending our Before School Club.
  • The Headteacher will then register the school closure on the Cumbria County Council Portal. This information will be posted automatically on the Cumbria County Council website - School Closures page (https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/school_closures).
  • The school will then put in place our 'Snow Tree' procedure where we will contact certain parents who then alert parents on their list about the school closure. 
  • Our school website (www.waberthwaite.cumbria.sch.uk) and Facebook page will be updated with information regarding the school closure. Website links and homework sheets may be available for classes so that school work can be completed at home. These can be accessed on our school website: 'News and Events' - 'Class Pages' - your child's class page - 'School Closures'.

  Delayed opening

In the event that poor local road conditions result in pupils or staff taking a longer time to arrive at school, the Headteacher may decide to open the school later or extend the time for registration so that everyone can get to school safely.  If the decision for opening later is agreed, following steps will be taken:

  • The Headteacher will register the delayed opening of the school on the Cumbria County Council Portal. This information will be posted automatically on the Cumbria County Council website - School Closures page (https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/school_closures).
  • The school will then put in place our 'Snow Tree' procedure where we will contact certain parents who then alert parents on their list about the school closure. 
  • Our school website (www.waberthwaite.cumbria.sch.uk) and Facebook page will be updated with information regarding the delayed opening.
  • The Headteacher will need to assess the number of staff members who have arrived at school by 8.45am. If there is a sufficient number of staff who have been successful in arriving at school, the Headteacher will keep the school open, but continue to reassess the situation throughout the day. If, at any point, it is felt that the children should go home, the school will contact parents/carers of the early closure and request collection of the children.
  • If the school is not forced to close, then normal pick up and collection arrangements will apply at 3:15pm for all pupils.

 

Snowfall during the School Day

In the event of  a heavy snowfall and/or there is a significant deterioration in local conditions occurring during the school day, so that the return home may become unsafe, then the Headteacher may decide to close the school.  The following procedures will be followed:

  • The Headteacher will register the school closure on the Cumbria County Council Portal. This information will be posted automatically on the Cumbria County Council website - School Closures page (https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/school_closures).
  • Parents will be contacted by the school.
  • Our school website (www.waberthwaite.cumbria.sch.uk) and Facebook page will be updated with information regarding the school closure.
  • Staff will remain on site to supervise the children with an acceptable ratio of staff to pupils until all the children are collected. 

 

 

Snow Clearance

If there is heavy snow on the ground and weather forecasts show that no more snow is expected to fall in the locality, we will attempt to clear and make safe our school playground, paths and parking areas as quickly possible. If we need assistance to do this, the school will contact parents to request adult help. We request that there are no children on site during the clearance operation.

 

Failure of the school heating system

Ambient temperature at school should be comfortable for all pupils and staff. In the unlikely event of a malfunction or total failure of the heating system, the Headteacher might have to take a decision to close the school. It is understood that this is very inconvenient for everyone, but a minimum temperature is mandated by law and a decision to close the school is not taken lightly. If problems with the heating system occur, the following procedures will be followed:

  • The Headteacher will register the closure of the school on the Cumbria County Council Portal. This information will be posted automatically on the Cumbria County Council website - School Closures page (https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/school_closures).
  • If the failure occurs during the school day, parents will be contacted by school to arrange collection of their child(ren). The school website (www.waberthwaite.cumbria.sch.uk) and Facebook page will be updated with information regarding the school closure. Staff will remain on site to supervise the children awaiting collection, with an acceptable ratio of staff to pupils. 
  • If the failure occurs overnight or over a weekend, the school may then put in place our 'Snow Tree' procedure where we will contact certain parents who then alert parents on their list about the school closure. 
  • Information on the repairs to the heating system will be disseminated and updated via text and our school Facebook page as soon as possible.

 

Thank you for your consideration and please use our website, Facebook page and the Cumbria County Council - School Closures page for information and updates. 

 

Please stay safe!