Closing the schools due to snow or other severe weather conditions is a very difficult decision to make. It is one that is not taken lightly and is always made in consultation with members of the Senior Leadership Team and the Local Board. Often, we are having to make decisions hours ahead of the start of the school day.
Before a decision to either close or stay open is taken, a risk assessment is conducted taking into account factors including:
- Whether enough staff can travel safely to school to provide minimum staff:pupil ratios for each school’s cohort;
- The state of pathways, steps and slopes around the school;
- Condition of roads and pathways in the local area;
- If the schools’ heating, lighting and water is working correctly;
- Whether catering can be provided;
- Whether Wiltshire Passenger Transport Service is operational;
- The weather forecast (whether the conditions are improving or deteriorating).
If the decision is to close or have a later start time, we notify parents/carers as soon as possible by a ParentMail text and e-mail plus place notices on the front page of the school websites. Additionally, the local radio stations are notified. The school will also contact Heart FM (Wiltshire) for the message to be broadcast and placed on their website.