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Unexpected School Closure

In the deep mid-winter it’s often time for snow! At school, we are aware that the timings of our decisions to close the school are critical for parents and carers, trying to get their children to school and then get to work. Following a heavy overnight snow, we always try and take the judgment on school closure as early as possible in the morning. We aim to make this decision early enough for parents/carers to make alternative plans for childcare or, if there is a heavy snow fall during the day, with enough notice as possible for parents/carers or an alternate to pick up. Whatever the time of day, please be assured that the decision to close the school is taken after considering many factors, particularly the health and safety of our children and staff, and is not taken lightly.

Snowfall Overnight

School Closure

Heavy snowfall overnight may result in access to the school being restricted or may stop children, parents/carers and staff from getting to school safely. If these conditions apply, the following steps will be taken:

  • The Headteacher will evaluate the prevailing conditions at the school site and in the area.
  • Staff will contact the Headteacher as early as possible, but before 7.30am to advise of their capability of getting to work safely.
  • If access to the school is regarded as too dangerous or there would be too few staff to teach the children, the Headteacher and Chair of Governors will take the decision to close the school. We aim to make this decision by 7.45am,particularly to assist parents and carers of children attending our Breakfast Club.
  • The Headteacher will then register the school closure with Medway Council. This information will be posted automatically on the Medway Schools – Emergency Closures page(https://www.medway.gov.uk) and trigger contact with Invicta Radio, KMFM or BBC Radio Kent
  • The school will also contact Parents through Class Dojo.
  • Our school website (Phoenixjuniors.co.uk) will be updated with information regarding the school closure. Homework sheets may be available for classes so that schoolwork can be completed at home.

Delayed opening

In the event that poor local road conditions result in pupils or staff taking a longer time to arrive at school, the Headteacher and Chair of Governors may decide to open the school later or extend the time for registration so that everyone can get to school safely.  If the decision for opening later is agreed, following steps will be taken:

  • The Headteacher will register the delayed opening of the school with Medway Council (https://www.medway.gov.uk) This information will be posted automatically on the Medway Council Schools – Emergency Closures page (https://www.medway.gov.uk) and trigger contact with the Radio stations; Invicta, KMFM and Radio Kent.
  • The school will contact parents via Class Dojo and Facebook page.
  • Our school website (Phoenixjuniors.co.uk) will be updated with information regarding the delayed opening.
  • The Headteacher will need to assess the number of staff members who have arrived at school by 8.45am. If there is a sufficient number of staff who have been successful in arriving at school, the Headteacher will keep the school open, but continue to reassess the situation throughout the day. If, at any point, it is felt that the children should go home, the school will contact parents and carers via text and/email or Class Dojo of the early closure and request collection of the children.
  • Parents will also be emailed by the school. The school status will be updated on our own website (Phoenixjuniors.co.uk).
  • If the school is not forced to close, then normal pick up and collection arrangements will apply at 3:10pm all pupils.

Snowfall during the School Day

In the event of a heavy snowfall and/or there is a significant deterioration in local conditions occurring during the school day, so that the return home may become unsafe, then the Headteacher may decide to close the school.  The following procedures will be followed:

  • The Headteacher will register the school closure with Medway Council (https://www.medway.gov.uk) This information will be posted automatically on the Medway Council Schools – Emergency Closure page(https://www.medway.gov.uk) and trigger contact with Invicta Radio, KMFM or BBC Radio Kent
  • Parents will be contacted by text and/or email by the school. The school status will be updated on our own website (Phoenixjuniors.co.uk).
  • Staff will remain on site to supervise the children with an acceptable ratio of staff to pupils until all the children are collected.
  • Parents and carers of children attending our After School Club will be contacted by text and/or email to advise of early closure of the school.

Snow Clearance

  • If there is heavy snow on the ground and weather forecasts show that no more snow is expected to fall in the locality, we will attempt to clear and make safe our school playground, paths and access areas as quickly possible.

Failure of the school heating system 

Ambient temperature at school should be comfortable for all pupils and staff. In the unlikely event of a malfunction or total failure of the heating system, the Headteacher might have to take a decision to close the school. It is understood that this is very inconvenient for everyone, but a minimum temperature is mandated by law and a decision to close the school is not taken lightly. If problems with the heating system occur, the following procedures will be followed:

  • The Headteacher will register the closure of the school with Medway Council This (https://www.medway.gov.uk) information will be posted automatically on the Medway Council Schools – Emergency Closures page(https://www.medway.gov.uk) and trigger contact with Invicta, KMFM and Radio Kent.
  • If the failure occurs during the school day, parents will contacted by text and/or email by the school to arrange collection of their child(ren). The school status will be updated on our own website (Phoenixjuniors.co.uk). Staff will remain on site to supervise the children awaiting collection, with an acceptable ratio of staff to pupils.
  • If the failure occurs overnight or over a weekend, the school may also contact Parents through Class Dojo, Facebook and emails.
  • Information on the repairs to the heating system will be disseminated and updated via the school website.

Please stay safe!

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