Extreme Weather Procedures
The key objectives of our Extreme Weather Procedures are as follows:
- To ensure the safety and well-being of all pupils and Staff should the School have to deal with severe, inclement weather; and
- To ensure that all employees are clear about their roles and responsibilities in the event of severe weather.
The following principles underpin the procedures:
- a service to parents and pupils should be maintained for as long as is reasonably practical;
- partial closure of a school should be considered before complete closure;
- the interests and safety of our pupils must be paramount. We cannot allow children to return home unsupervised in potentially dangerous conditions, or return them home to an empty house. Therefore effective parental contact is an essential part of these procedures; and
- staff will be allowed to remain at home or leave the School early if there is a genuine need on the basis of their personal safety; these decisions will be made on an individual basis.
Every reasonable effort will be made to contact parents to inform them of the School’s closure and to ensure the safety of pupils after they leave the School. For those who do travel by public transport, by cycle or by foot in the main it is preferable to keep children at the School until they are collected.
Once the Headmaster has decided that the School should close he will inform parents and Staff by a number of means:
- Parents. If a decision is made to close, the School then will contact parents via e-mail (parents without access to email or the Internet will be contacted by telephone), and the web site will be updated with this decision. The Marketing Manager will also contact local radio stations (Heart FM – 102.7FM and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire – 95.7 and 96.0FM) to announce the decision.
- Teaching Staff. The Headmaster will grant Teaching Staff permission to leave the School when it is clear that all pupils can be collected when the School is in session. It may be necessary to direct that certain Staff members remain to supervise pupils; full consideration will be made of Staff members’ need to return home if their residence or travel route is affected by severe weather. If the decision is made to close the School overnight then the Headmaster will contact members of the SMT who will telephone individual Staff members from prepared lists compiled by the Secretary, which they will retain at all times.
- Support Staff. The Bursar will consider the logistic needs of the School when the Headmaster makes a decision to close the School. He will confer with the Estates Manager and the Domestic Bursar to ensure that mini bus, caretaking, ground clearance and feeding requirements are met. Full consideration will be made of Staff members’ need to return home if their residence or travel routes are affected by severe weather. It may be that certain Staff members’ shift patterns are altered to prepare for, and combat, inclement weather, such as heavy icing, snow or frost, so that the School site is maintained in a safe state. The aim will be that one member of the Maintenance staff is required to work from 4.00am on such occasions.
Continuity of Education
If possible, the School will make alternative arrangements for the education of pupils, which will be provided remotely. If time allows it, Teaching Staff will be asked to ensure that their teaching support folders on the RM easy link facility are provided with suitable educational materials to enable pupils to work from home.
The Nursery should act in accordance with the above procedures as far is as practicably possible. The Headmaster in liaison with the Bursar and the Nursery Manager will carry out the necessary process to decide on the closing of the Nursery. The Nursery Manager will contact parents and Nursery Staff as necessary using the above methods.