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School Closure

It is possible that circumstances will arise in which it is necessary to make an emergency closure of the school. If such events occur, the Executive Principal, or in his absence, the Head of School, will contact the Chair of Governors, or in her absence, the Vice Chair of Governors to reach a joint decision. The decision should be based on access to essential services (heating, water etc), staffing levels, transport safety, and site safety.

In particular the decision making process should take account of:

  • The health and safety of pupils, staff and volunteers which should always be paramount
  • The basic entitlement of 190 pupil days which should be offered if at all possible
  • Consideration should be given to closing the school to just some year groups eg Year 6 and/or changing the opening and closing time if either will avoid complete closure.
  • Wherever possible the Executive Principal will aim to open all or some of the school, however, if the children are at risk then the Executive Principal will start from a stance of closure and work back from there.

As a matter of courtesy if the decision is made to seek to close the school, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead will be informed of the decision. 

The decision to close the school may be for reasons such as:

  • Terrorist threat or incidents
  • Water, power or heating failure
  • Extreme weather conditions
  • Chemical spillage
  • Contagious disease outbreak
  • Additional holidays or occasions
  • Industrial action.

Closure before the start of the school day

The Executive Principal will make the decision as early as possible on the basis of information received from:

  • The Media about the weather, condition of the roads and paths and public transport
  • On the spot observation, either personally or from staff members who better placed to make such observations eg staff who can walk to school
  • Through appropriate external agencies such as the Met Office

Factors involved in reaching the decision to close the School are likely to be:

  • Access to the School, i.e. road conditions (obstructions, snow, ice, flooding etc).
  • Breakdown of school essential services (heating, electrical services, water, storm damage etc.)
  • Specific advice received from RBWM, Police etc

If the school is closed outside school hours, parents will be notified through local radio http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/england/Berkshire , through text messaging system, the school website, the school Twitter feed, through the display of notices at the gate and on the building and through personal contact with senior staff. 

 RBWM:  https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk/info/200168/schools_and_schooling/1035/school_closures

 DFE LA Website Finder:   https://www.gov.uk/check-school-closure

The Executive Principal, or Head of School in his absence, will make arrangements if he is able, to receive pupils who are unaware of the closure and ensure that during office hours the school telephone is staffed as far as possible even if the school is closed.

 School Closure during the School Day

On occasions it may be necessary for the School to close during the School Day i.e. if the weather is deteriorating and there is doubt as to whether pupils can be returned home later in the day. In such cases the School will use the texting service, the School Website and Local Radio to inform parents/carers of early closure. Children will remain in school until either collected or until parents/carers contact the school with alternative arrangements.

 Staff Attendance

Although it is recognised that severe weather conditions make it difficult for some staff to get to and from school, the expectation is that staff will present themselves for work unless advised to the contrary by the Executive Principal. However, if conditions are such that staff are unable to travel to school, the Executive Principal will assess whether there are sufficient staff present for school to be opened safely. It may be necessary to partially close the school to specific year groups and prioritise certain years that will remain in school eg Year 6. If the school is closed, the staff are still in a position to work under directed time of the Executive Principal.  This may be off site.

SATs Week.

In the unlikely event that there is extreme weather during SATs Week, they will still go ahead providing  sufficient members of staff are present in school.  If the School has a utilities failure and conditions are such that it would be un-safe for pupils and staff, then the test will not go ahead and the school will contact the STA (Standards and Testing Authority). The School Website will be maintained with emergency closure details and any alternative examination arrangements.