School Closure Procedure
With the exception of pre-planned teacher days the school is only closed during designated term time in emergency situations, such as very bad weather, heating or water failure, floods, gas leaks, bomb alerts or fire.
The LA may make a blanket decision as to closure in bad weather and this is reported on local radio stations. The safety of children is paramount at such times. The school takes all precautions to ensure children are escorted home by appropriate known adults using our ‘home arrangements procedures'. No child will knowingly be sent home to an empty house.
Messages will be posted on the school website (home page) as an important remote communications method. These are instantly available, easy to do and low in cost. They have proved to be the most reliable form of communication (when other media have been overwhelmed). We therefore recommend checking for them as a first port of call.
Communications to parents and staff in a closure situation are in the following order:
Closures known before the end of school on the previous day
- Notification to staff by briefing or message book.
- Notification verbally by staff to children.
- By letter sent home with children.
- By notices around school.
- On the front page of the school website.
Emergency closures during the school day
- Follow up phone calls for any child not collected.
- Word of mouth.
- Notices around school.
Emergency closures before the school day begins
- Caretaker or local staff member to put up notices on the school gates if possible.
- Text messaging mobile to mobile directly. Head or deputy to initiate.
- Notice on the front of the school website.
- Inform radio stations. Which radio stations are called will depend upon availability by BRMB, Free, Heart FM and Radio WM are the usual ones.
Information following a closure
- Parents and staff should presume the school is open the next day unless otherwise informed.
- Option 1 - To let parents know school will re-open if known at the same time when the closure is notified.
- Option 2 - Use website, radio stations and notices at the school to inform of re-opening dates and times.
Senior staff responsibilities:
- Senior staff use the information available to make the most appropriate decision at the time with the safety of children, parents and staff around the site as paramount.
- Senior staff cannot be expected to be appraised of sufficient information to make decisions for families and staff about whether they attend whilst they are away from the school site/at home.
- SLT are responsible for communicating decisions with regards to school closure and re-opening to all staff and stakeholders.
- Staff are all responsible for doing their utmost to return children to their families in the event of closure during the school day.
- SLT are responsible for organising any actions necessary to ensure the safety of the site.
- Adults must make their own assessment about whether it is safe to travel to the school site from their home or other location.
- Drivers are responsible for the safe movement and parking of vehicles on and near the school site.
- Staff and parents should use the website, radio stations, telephones and notices and any other means of communication provided to keep themselves appraised of closure and re-opening information.
- Parents/carers are requested to make alternative collection arrangements for their child if they are unable to collect them at short notice.
- Please refer to related policy Uncollected Child.
- Staff are responsible for deciding whether they are able to attempt the journey to school, this may mean using alternative means of transport e.g. bus, foot etc.