Parents and carers are to assume that, unless announced otherwise, the school will remain open in adverse weather conditions, including snow.
The school will only close if:
- Advised to do so by the Local Authority.
- Met Office warnings advise ‘non travel’ in and around the immediate vicinity of the school.
- Limited numbers of staff at school prevents ‘acceptable’ adult to pupil ratios.
If school does close, you will be informed via the texting service, telephone, school website, Derbyshire County Council website or local radio news station. Please avoid calling the school before 9.00am, as lines will be limited as we contact the appropriate authorities.
Deciding to travel to school or take your child out of school, even if it is open
It will be the responsibility of parents and carers to decide if it is safe for them to travel to school. The Headteacher cannot make such decisions on your behalf. In exceptional cases, the school can authorise absence as a result of problems caused by adverse conditions, such as road closures, traffic delays and similar. However, parents electing to take their child out of school when it is not closed should assume that absence is unauthorised unless told otherwise. School should be informed if you deem it unsafe for you to travel.
Authorisation, in such cases, will be the decision of the Headteacher in consultation with the parent and if necessary the governing body.
Limited staffing resulting from adverse conditions or ‘other school closures’
Should the number of staff in school be reduced, ‘best fit’ actions may be taken to meet the needs of pupils, including; combining classes, ‘skeleton’ curriculum delivery or in extreme cases, some non-academic activities. Should a change of circumstance occur after school has started, we will inform you of this as soon as we can.
In all circumstances children should arrive at school with clothing suited for outdoors, including:
· Hat, coat and gloves.
· Wellington boots (or similar).
- · A change of foot-wear.
A ‘common sense’ approach to snow
Many schools are of the opinion that snow and children do not mix. I do not agree. Although I understand that children, like all of us, are more vulnerable to slips, trips and incoming snowballs at this time of year, I will not prevent children playing out, or in, the snow.
Of course, careful consideration will take place prior to break times as to the conditions of the playground, snow and ice in order to assess or ‘reduce risk’, however children should anticipate being outdoors.
When there is sufficient snow, designated areas will be provided in which the throwing of snowballs is allowed and areas will be chosen where snowballs are not allowed. This way children will be able to follow the ethos of the RESPECT agenda, making ‘clever choices’ and being ‘responsible’ for them, choosing where to play and what experience they want. Those entering areas designated for snowballing must accept that they are likely to be hit and that they take this risk by playing there. It may be useful to discuss and impart your wishes with your child regarding this matter, as they will be responsible for where and how they play.
- The school will close only if there is no safe alternative.
- Children should come prepared to go outside.
- Every opportunity will be provided for pupils to keep safe whilst enjoying the conditions.
- Working conditions may require adaptation if other schools close or staffing is restricted.