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Severe Weather Plan

It is the policy of the school to make every effort to remain open whenever possible. The decision to close the school either before or during the school day will be made by the Head Teacher.

The school will only be closed if one or more of the following conditions apply:

  • Insufficient staff are able to come in to keep the school running safely;
  • Conditions on site are dangerous;
  • Conditions are considered to be or are anticipated to become too hazardous for travel.

If the school is to close:

  • The closure will be recorded on the school website and on the West Berkshire Website. The media (Heart Thames Valley,  BBC Radio Berkshire ,  The Breeze) will then broadcast details.
  • All parents will be alerted to the closure via Text Message or email once the closure has been logged with the local authority.

The school will make all practicable efforts to keep parents informed as to the situation with the school during adverse weather conditions, as we appreciate that such conditions and the uncertainty places very considerable difficulties upon parents. However parents are expected to check the website and/or make themselves aware of the radio broadcasts when it is clear that a closure is a possibility.

The school appreciates that during bad weather children may arrive later than normal; parents should endeavour to contact the school to let them know they are on their way if likely to be delayed.

The school recognises there will be isolated instances where families are cut off, even where the clear majority of children can get into school. In such instances parents should inform the school of the circumstances of this exceptional situation, as the school has a duty to clarify the circumstances of each case so as to be able to formally authorise the absence to the Local Authority. Parents acting on the assumption that the school would be closed without gaining confirmation, or failing to inform the school of the circumstances that prevents the child coming into school risks their child being registered as an un-authorised absence.

Where the school is officially closed, all absence is counted as authorised absence.

In the event of the school having to close during the day due to unforeseen worsening weather or similar unforeseen circumstances, parents will be contacted by text or by phone either at home or work and asked to collect their child/children. Such an early release will only be contemplated in very extreme circumstances.

In the event of snow some pathways will be cleared and salted by a volunteer group (staff, parents and governors will be requested to form group). Parents, children and visitors will be made aware that pathways, even where cleared, do remain dangerous. Children will also be reminded of this in assembly. Before and after school opening hours parents are responsible for ensuring their children do not slide on the school playground.

In snow / icy conditions, pathways will be salted as follows:

  • Key parts of the car park including the zebra crossing.
  • From the parent car park gate to the Ash/Sycamore corridor.
  • From the front entrance around to the cleared playground pathway.
  • From the clear pathway to Acorns class.

Where necessary essential pathways will be kept as clear as possible throughout the day.

During significant adverse weather conditions, all parents should enter the school with their child by the playground gate, and report to the staff in the hall. Parents may be required to supervise their children in the hall until staff are ready to formally take supervision of the children.

In the Head Teacher’s absence the Senior teacher on site will assume responsibility for making all decisions relating to the Adverse Weather Policy.

Melissa Whitaker               

January 2022

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