The DfE advises:
‘As school staff and governors will appreciate, school closures disrupt children’s education and make life very difficult for working parents who may not be able to make childcare arrangements at short notice. This in turn disrupts the services and businesses in which those parents work. Schools should therefore plan for severe weather on the assumption that they will generally stay open.’
The Headteacher and Governing Body of Cuffley School recognise the importance of avoiding school closure in order to ensure that the pupils’ education is not adversely affected. In the event of hazardous weather conditions, or other serious circumstances such as power cuts, heating breakdowns, etc., the priority of the Headteacher and Governing Body is to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all pupils, staff and visitors to the school site. Closure of the school may therefore be necessary in order to minimise these risks.
In the event of adverse weather or other serious circumstance, any decision to close the school will be made by the Headteacher or, in her absence, the Deputy Headteacher. This decision will be made after a careful assessment of the weather forecast, the conditions on the main routes to and from school, the condition of the side roads or after undertaking a risk assessment on site in consultation with the Site Manager and other professionals if necessary. In the event of a decision being taken to close the school, the following procedure will be implemented:
If the Premises Manager (and other local staff) are able to access the site, they will endeavour to make the school safe and accessible for a return as soon as possible.
It is critical that, for this system to work effectively, that all contact details are kept up to date and, equally importantly, they are accessible from home.
Pupil safety remains paramount throughout.
In extreme weather conditions staff must remind the children of the need to wear suitable clothing. It is obviously suitable to wear boots to school but, on arrival, a change of footwear is required to minimise the snow and ice brought in to the building. Although pupils are expected to enter classrooms on arrival at school at 08.55, it is important that the SLT actively ensure that children do not linger in the playground before this time.
If there are other serious circumstances, such as a power cut or heating failure, children will be carefully supervised and advised on how to conduct themselves, until arrangements can be made for children to go home.
All accidents or incidents should be reported using the usual reporting systems.
Providing an educational service of the highest standard, together with ensuring the safety of pupils, staff and members of our local community, are of paramount importance. It is, therefore, important that all stakeholders adhere to the guidelines within this policy in order that the services offered by the school are maintained to the highest level possible and that safety is not compromised.