Head Teacher letter – Severe Weather Guidance
“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 bad weather can cause widespread and prolonged disruption. Schools are often affected and it can be difficult to maintain an education service.
As a fundamental principle every effort must be made to keep schools open, even if only limited numbers of pupils can attend. However schools may close due to ‘unavoidable’ circumstances. Those circumstances being that it is no longer safe for staff or pupils to be onsite.
We recognise that it is important that our school remains open so parents are able to work and pupils can continue to learn. St Mary’s Primary School will make every effort to prepare for severe snow/ice this winter by gritting pathways, clearing access points etc.
How will we let you me know if the school is closed?
However, if we do experience severe snow/ice resulting in hazardous conditions, our headteacher may have to take the decision to close the school. Once this decision has been made we will notify parents via the Kent Closures website. To determine whether Ashford St Mary’s Primary School is open or closed please visit http://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 St Mary’s Primary School is closed. Parents can also listen to KMFM, or Heart FM to hear if the school has closed.
What can you do to help?
- Please visit http://www.kent.gov.uk/winter for more information about gritting routes and travel issues around Kent so you can plan your journey.
- Please can you provide a packed lunch from home in case school meals cannot be transported.
- Don’t forget suitable warm clothing – 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 St Mary’s Primary School remain open during periods of severe snow/ice.