Severe Weather Procedures
In times of severe weather, schools within the Bath & Wells Multi Academy Trust will make every effort to remain open whenever possible.
On rare occasions the weather can be so severe that getting to and from school becomes hazardous and can also be disruptive and not conducive to learning, therefore this document aims to give guidance on when it is appropriate to close a school due to bad weather and the steps to take to minimise disruption.
The decision to close or partially close the school either before or during the school day will be made by the Headteacher of the school in consultation with the Chair of Governors.
The school will only be closed if one or more of the following conditions apply:
1. Insufficient staff are able to come in to keep the school running safely.
2. Conditions on site are dangerous.
3. Conditions are considered to be or are anticipated to later become too hazardous for travel.
Decisions to close the school
Should very severe weather conditions prevail.
The school will remain open at all times and children will be expected to attend school, if not we will communicate full closure or partial closure in the following ways:-
A message will be sent using Class Dojo.
A text will be sent out to parents / carers.
Parents are reminded that they are expected to keep mobile phone numbers up to date with the school office at all times to ensure that text messages are received.
Closure information will be posted on the scrolling banner of the St James website: St. James Church School (stjamessch.co.uk)
Closure information has been posted under “Emergency School Notices” on the Somerset Website: School closures (somerset.gov.uk)
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. Lateness under these circumstances will not affect any attendance initiatives.
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 unauthorised absence. Where the school is officially closed, all pupils absence is counted as authorised absence and this will not affect any attendance initiatives.
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 phone either at home or work and asked to collect their child/ren. Such an early release will only be contemplated in very extreme circumstances. Children will not be sent home unless accompanied by a parent or another agreed contact.
It is unlikely that a prediction will be made about the day following a day of closure due to severe weather. Every effort will be made to keep the school open and parents should ensure that children should attend.
In the event of closure, where fees have been paid for late / early club, school trips, after school clubs that require payment and for all fee paying Nursery places, payment will be reimbursed.
Health and Safety information
In the event of snow some pathways will be cleared and salted. Parents, children and visitors will be made aware that pathways, even where cleared, do remain dangerous.
Before and after school opening hours parents are responsible for ensuring their children do not slide on the school playground.
During adverse weather conditions, the playground may be out of bounds to parents and children at the beginning and end of the school day.
After a period of closure, a message will be sent to the parents/staff below to advise them of the school’s reopening. Messages will also be posted on The Bath and Wells Multi Academy Trust website and the school website.