Snow Plan

INFORMATION FOR PARENTS & CARERS

Aim of the plan

This plan covers the contingencies made for a heavy snowfall which may result in enforced school closure or restricted opening.

This plan aims to prevent:

  1. The stranding of pupils and staff
  2. Unnecessary risks travelling to and from school through good communication
  3. Excessive impact on children’s education
  4. Accidents in the school through good risk assessment

Policy

It is policy that the school will open on all normal school days even when some poor road conditions exist. However, in the event of a heavy snowfall, we cannot guarantee that staff will be able to attend school and a decision to close or restrict school opening may have to be made.

If the school is closed, a member of staff (where possible) will be available at school to ensure that messages and communication are maintained for the first few hours of closure.

If there is an enforced school closure, we cannot look after children. However, those already delivered to school prior to a decision being made will of course be looked after until they can be collected.

Decision

If the weather conditions are severe enough to force closure or restricted opening, this decision will be communicated to parents by the following means:

The decision to close the school will be taken by the Head and will be taken by 7.30am.

Restricted opening where school is open but some staff and pupils may be unable to attend due to weather conditions:

Parents are asked to exercise extreme caution when bringing their children to school and walk up through the school grounds with great care. We will do our best to remove all snow and ice, but this is not always possible. We will relax our normal high expectations of punctuality and no child will receive a late mark.

At the end of the day, the children should be collected as usual but there will be no after- school clubs or staff meetings. Parents who wish to collect their children early due to the road conditions may do so.

On such days, children’s access to the school playground and outdoor areas may be restricted.

Parents are reminded to ensure their children have warm clothes and suitable footwear.

Communications

As above, once a decision is made. The school phone is likely to be very busy and it may not be possible to get through, so we would ask parents to use the means of communication outlined above instead. THEREFORE PLEASE DO NOT PHONE THE SCHOOL TO ASK IF WE ARE OPEN.

Q&A – snowy days when school is open

Will I be contacted in the event of snow?
There will be communication via of the methods outlined above.

Do I need to contact school?
If you decide not to travel to school because of the road conditions, please inform us so that we know the children are safe. Please leave a message on the absence line – you do not need to personally speak to a member of staff or email the school at admin@woodendfirst.ealing.sch.uk

Should I travel to school or not?
Always check the website, your text messages and email first. Parents and staff have to decide whether it is safe for them to make the journey to school. Please remember that you are responsible for the safety of your child/children until they enter the school building. Please wait with them until a member of staff arrives to open the cloakroom doors.

Will there be after-school clubs or lessons?
The after school care club will be open, however, activity and maths club will not.  Please keep the school informed if you are delayed on your way to collect the children.  As always, we will look after the children until you arrive.

When should I collect my child?
Children should be collected at the usual time unless the weather conditions worsen in which case the school will contact parents via the communication systems outlined above.

Impact on education
On days when the school has restricted opening, children may not be taught by their usual teachers or in their usual classes, as we may not have our full quota of staff. However, we will ensure that we have an educationally valid day. If there is a prolonged closure of the school, staff will advise work that may be completed at home via the school website.

Support if stranded in school
Members of staff will stay in school until all children have been collected.
Food – the school kitchen holds a small stock of food throughout the term which can be used to ensure a snack for anyone stranded.
Heat – as the system is gas-fired, this should not be affected. In the event of breakdown and the necessity to close the school, communication will be through the means outlined above.

Internal safety measures/checks
Fire escapes and routes – to be cleared and salted as a priority.
Salting – the Site Manager will ensure sufficient stock. Salting in and around the paths for access to the school will commence at 7. 30 am each day as necessary and during the day if conditions require.

 

January 2017