“Schools should, wherever possible, stay open in severe weather. They play a key role in their communities and by staying open help both their pupils and parents.” Department for Education
Every winter brings the possibility of snow and ice. Extreme weather can cause widespread and prolonged disruption. Schools are often affected and it can be difficult to maintain an education service.
We recognise that it is important that our school remains open so parents are able to work, and pupils can continue to learn. In the event of adverse weather, i.e. snow, the school will make every effort to remain open.
The decision to close will be made by the Headteacher. School will only be closed of one or more of the following conditions apply:
- There are not sufficient numbers of staff to come in and keep the school running safely
- Conditions on site are dangerous
- Conditions are considered to be, or are anticipated to be, to hazardous to travel.
If the school is deemed open, then there is a broad expectation that pupils should attend school.
The school recognises that there may be cases where families are unable to attend school due to the particular difficulties of the area in which they live. In such cases, parents should inform the school of these circumstances using the normal absence procedures. The Headteacher retains authority to authorise such absences.
Procedure for Closure
The Headteacher will decide whether the school will open taking into account the conditions at the school and the ability of staff to get there.
In the eventuality of a ‘closure’, the school will remain open for children of critical workers as a childcare provision where possible. This will be staffed by members of staff who live within 1 mile of the school.
Once this decision has been made, we will notify parents via ParentMail, the school website and the Kent Closures website (www.kentclosures.co.uk)
Kent Closure Website
To determine whether Bridge & Patrixbourne CEP School is open or closed please visit www.kentclosures.co.uk. Search for the school in the search box. The Kent Closures website can also be used to find out if other services in Kent are open or closed, such as nurseries, children’s centres and libraries. We also recommend parents sign up for SMS/email alerts on the Kent Closures website. This service will send an SMS or email alert to let parents know if Bridge & Patrixbourne CEP School is closed. Parents can also listen to KMFM, BBC Radio Kent or Heart FM to hear if the school has closed.
Closure during the School Day
If there is adverse weather during the school day, the Headteacher will decide whether or not it is necessary to close the school.
The school office will contact parents via ParentMail and ask that they collect their children as soon as possible.
Staff members that live furthest away from school will be permitted to leave at the earliest opportunity.
Staff who live within walking distance of the school will remain in school until all children have been collected. A first-aider and a designated safeguarding lead will remain on site.
Childcare for Critical Workers
In order to support our families, the school will endeavour to provide a childcare facility for families who are unable to work from home and work in one of the following areas. The school will hold a register of these pupils who will be eligible to attend school in the event of a ‘school closure’.
These pupils are also eligible to attend our Bridges Bees BASC provision although parents are encouraged to keep this use to a minimum.
Health and Social Care
This includes, but is not limited to, doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
Education & Childcare
- support and teaching staff
- social workers
- specialist education professionals
Public Safety & National Security
- police and support staff
- Ministry of Defence civilians
- contractor and armed forces personnel
- fire and rescue service employees (including support staff)
- National Crime Agency staff
- those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
Given the fact that most decisions about closure related to adverse weather are made at short notice, it will not be possible to provide an effective remote learning provision in these circumstances. Children should engage in Reading, Numbots, Times Table Rock Stars, Spelling Shed and with the termly key skills that are sent home at the beginning of each term (these can also be found on the class pages of the school website).
With enough notice, i.e. the prior working day, activities will be set by the class teacher and made available for families who wish to complete these.
What can parents do to help?
Don’t forget suitable warm clothing for your children – gloves, hats, scarves, wellies etc. or even a change of clothing.
If you are a working parent or feel you may have a problem with a sudden earlier pick up, please could you put a back-up plan in place with another family member or parent and inform the school. This will allow staff to leave earlier for their safety if weather dictates.
Many thanks for your support in helping Bridge & Patrixbourne CEP School remain open during periods of severe snow/ice.
Link to www.kentclosures.co.uk