Adverse Weather School Closures

It’s coming up to that time of year again, when the weather is colder and more ‘adverse’. I thought I might explain our position on ‘snow days’ so you know what to expect.

We do not have a policy of ‘we will be open no matter what’. However, we have never closed due to adverse weather conditions.

On a normal day staff do not arrive, and do not have to arrive, ridiculously early, so until they are all in I am only ever assuming that they will all arrive on time and that we can open as usual. Funnily enough, we do not require staff to let us know every day that they are going to make it in on time. This morning, with a weather forecast of sleet – should I have required them to let me know? Or every day in January? Just because?

And if I don’t know which days are ‘adverse weather days’ until they happen, and I don’t know if staff will make it in on time until they do actually arrive, how and when can I decide to tell parents that we will be open as usual?

We open for 190 days for pupils, and aim to do so on time every day of those 195 days. We aim to do this on days with ‘adverse weather’. We do not tell parents we are opening on sunny, warm summer days as they just expect us to, but if the boiler broke, or the school kitchen had to close, or we discovered a major bee infestation we might have to close unexpectedly. We would tell parents if and when we had to close or open later than usual.

So the same applies in snowy weather. Please assume we will be open – we will tell you if we will not be and as soon as we possibly can.

How soon would that be? It would be as soon as we knew – that might be the night before or an hour before opening time, or only at nine o’clock.

How do we manage to always have opened in wintry conditions when some schools close? The answer is partly that our staff and our pupils live locally. Most can simply walk into work and walk to school, and so we do. Premises staff work exceptionally hard to clear paths and doorways and to make sure the buildings are warm.

Some schools have to close because pupils and staff travel between sites by bus during the day – and this cannot happen if roads close. Some do not get enough staff in to be safe. Some lose school meal service. Maybe we are lucky.

There is no need to phone us to check if we are going to open – please assume we are open. If we have to close then we will text parents as soon as we possibly can.

Next week: getting down (on the bottom playground) and getting dirty (while playing there)

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