Severe Weather Guidance

SEVERE WEATHER CONDITIONS 

Dear Parents

I am writing to clarify arrangements for severe weather.  Schools will stay open if at all possible when there is severe weather such as deep/drifting snow, very high winds, widespread flooding. I try extremely hard, as early as possible in the morning, to make a decision about opening or closing the school. We follow LA guidelines and have to make sure that the site is safe and we have enough members of staff in order to supervise the children, but not necessarily function with a normal timetable. We may be able to open school, in some cases slightly later, to ensure more staff are on site to supervise.

I know many of you have to make plans for alternative arrangements if school has to close, and I can only stress that we do make every effort to keep the school open.

 If the school is open, parents have the responsibility to ensure their children come to school, but only if it is safe to do so.  Parents/carers should inform schools if their child is absent due to severe conditions which make the journey unsafe. You can leave a message on the absence telephone line (01233 620040 and press number 1 on your keypad) or e-mail receptionist@great-chart.kent.sch.uk. Please only keep children at home if travel conditions are unsafe.

How will you find out if the school is closed?

It is always our aim to try to keep school open, but on occasions we may need to close or open slightly later. Information will be given out in a number of ways:

  • School website will be updated
  • Parent home contact system – email and text message (where appropriate)
  • kentclosures.co.uk (you can also register for text alerts or email on using this website)
  • When a member of staff arrives at school they will answer the phone

 Or via local radio stations:

Radio Station Frequency Website
KMFM Ashford 107.6fm www.kentschoolclosures.co.uk
BBC Radio Kent 96.7/104.2fm www.bbc.co.uk/kent
Heart FM 103.1/102.8fm www.heart.co.uk/kent

 If you do not hear any information about the school closing it is safe to assume that we will remain open. If you are still unsure whether or not school is open, we suggest that you walk with your child to the gates of school. Members of staff will be there to give you this information. We do try very hard to give out information in many different ways – via the website, local radio, school phone, informing the Road Crossing Patrol and posting members of staff on duty at the school gates. There are 485 pupils in school and it is not possible to contact every family individually. However, many parents do a wonderful job of informing their friends and neighbours during times of severe weather and this is very helpful to us.

If, on the rare occasion, school closes during the school day, parents/carers will be informed in the same way as above. We will never send children home during the school day unless they are accompanied by their parent and staff will remain with pupils until they are collected. If conditions worsen in the school day and parents feel it is absolutely necessary to collect children, the school should if possible be contacted prior to collection.  Please avoid collecting children before the end of the day unless you feel their safety is at risk and always ensure your son/daughter is appropriately clothed for cold/wet/windy weather and that shoes/boots have good grip for icy conditions. Thank you.

 Yours sincerely

 Mrs W Pang, Headteacher