Snow and Bad Weather Procedure
PLAN FOR SNOW Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!
What follows is our plan in an event of snow to ensure we can keep the school open as much as possible. I am sure you will agree that in order to keep the school open, with our children learning and enjoying time together, we have to remain sensible and realistic in the face of health and safety issues. For instance, we all cope with paths and pavements outside the school grounds, but inside the school grounds there has to be safe path ways. This takes up a lot of time, man power and resources and if we are to keep the school open we need to be realistic in our management of this.
The key requirements for any school are these:
• We need to provide safe access on to and out of our site by clearing a pathway
• There is no requirement for us to clear the playground if we do not have the means, manpower or money to do it.
• We carry out risk assessments as to whether the children are allowed out onto the playground/field • We cannot allow parents to clear the site – it is an insurance issue.
• We are not expected to close as a result of snow so long as the above criteria are fulfilled. If all these measures are in place, the responsibility lies with parents to keep themselves and their children safe.
Our plan then is as follows:
1. The head always makes a decision daily about whether the school will be able to open. The main factor in this is whether enough staff can manage to get to work from their respective homes. If there is a decision to close this will be posted on the school website and announced on local radio stations such as Heart/Star FM/Radio Cambridgeshire. If no notice – the school is open.
2. If we are to open we have to be realistic about the amount of work clearing paths we can manage. Salt is very expensive and Mr Hambley, our caretaker, has to work to clear paths before children come to school each day. For this reason we will on snow days reduce the entrances in and around the school but allow children to go straight in from 8.35am in the mornings to avoid a big rush at 8.45am. The map overleaf shows the pathways that will be cleared and the two gates that will remain open. Beresford Road gate will be shut due to the slope and to reduce the need for pathways across the playground, so people will need to walk round to use the other two gates to the front playground and to the door at the back of the hall.
3. The pathways across the playground will lead to two entrances into the school building – the corner door at the corner of the front and side playgrounds and the door at the back of the hall (and of course access to the mobiles). It is not possible to manage paths to all classroom doors. Children will be sent straight in at 8.35am so there will be no need to wait in the playground. Staff will direct children to their classrooms from these two doors on such days rather than admitting them through all the cloakroom doors.
4. Children (and adults) need to come wearing sensible footwear and waterproof clothing to help avoid slipping and to be dressed for enjoying the snow.
5. We hope by the end of the day to have had time to grit a pathway around the school near the cloakroom doors to enable children to leave from their own classroom doors but pathways will still be limited. We hope parents/carers will support this practical approach as it would be such a shame to close the school because we cannot manage the access in to the school. Once here the school will operate normally and risk assessments will be done each playtime to assess whether the snow is OK for playing in or too wet or icy.
John Henson, Head
Chris Ashley, Business Manager
Alan Hambley, Caretaker