There are different reasons why your child’s school may be closed. There are planned closures due to holidays, staff training days, scheduled building work or other specific events relevant to your child’s school. Schools may also need to take exceptional closures due to factors like extreme weather, death of a teacher or pupil or electricity failure.
Before taking the decision to open or close a school during periods of severe weather, the Principal, or an agreed deputy, for example, Chair of the Board of Governors or a senior teacher, needs to consider the following:
- can pupils/staff access the school building safely?
- can pupils/staff be evacuated in an emergency?
- in an emergency, could the Emergency Services access the school?
- is the area where pupils are dropped-off by transport safe?
- transport – can buses and vehicles transporting things such as meals reach the school? This is particularly important if a large number of pupils within the school rely on these services
- are there enough teachers to adequately supervise pupils?
- local weather forecasts and road conditions, including those for areas from which staff will be travelling
Communication with parents when a school decides to close
Schools should have an agreed plan in place for communication with parents and staff, to let them know about exceptional closures. This could include use of a texting service, email, local/regional media or telephone.
Your child’s school should ensure that you are made aware of the method(s) of communication that they will use in cases of exceptional closure. For schools that make use of texting or email, you will need to ensure that your child’s school has your up to date mobile telephone/email details.
If you have any questions relating to your child’s school you should contact the school directly.