Emergency Closure Procedure
Stoke Park Junior School Emergency Closure Procedures
Department for Education
'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'.
Every winter brings the possibility of snow and ice, where extreme bad weather can cause widespread and prolonged disruption. Schools are often affected and in such circumstances it can be difficult to maintain the safe provision of an education service.
Fundamentally, every effort will be made to keep the school open, even if only limited numbers of pupils can attend. There is a legal requirement to keep all schools open for children to attend for 190 days per year (380 sessions). However, there are times when a school will need close due to ‘unavoidable’ circumstances. Those circumstances will mean that it is no longer safe for staff or pupils to be onsite.
We recognise that it is important that Stoke Park Junior School remains open so parents are able to work and pupils can continue to learn. We will make every effort to prepare for potential emergencies, which includes severe weather conditions, to ensure that the school remains open, as is consistent with our health and safety requirements. However, this may mean that it might not be possible to offer a full timetable. It will be the Headteacher's decision, based on the safety of all pupils and staff as to whether a school opens. It is vital to ensure sufficient staff numbers in order to keep the school running effectively and safely during any period of adverse weather.
"The decision whether to close must, however, be for headteachers as they know their schools and surrounding areas. They should use common sense in assessing the risks and keep their schools open."
– Department of Education
If the school is unable to open in the morning due to an emergency or bad weather we may need to adopt our emergency closure procedure.
This could involve the Headteacher liaising with the other Cluster schools (in the case of bad weather) to ensure there is a consistent approach. We will notify parents, as soon as possible, when a decision has been made. Contact will be via Arbor, we will also update the school website. We will also advise Hampshire County Council who add the school’s name to the Emergency School Closure list and make arrangements for details to be shared on local radio.
If the decision has to be taken during the school day, we will contact parents via Arbor and ask them to collect their child as soon as is possible.
How will parents know if our school is closed?
The school will log the closure on: http://www.hants.gov.uk/education/schoolclosures.
The school website will advise parents if the school is closed.
The school will send parents an message if the school is closed.
Local Radio Stations will also have current information regarding school closures