Adverse Weather/Other Emergencies Policy

Adverse Weather/Other Emergencies Policy

Revision History

Version Date Comments Review Date
6 Autumn 2017 Amended, approved and issued Autumn 2019
5 Autumn 2016 Amended, approved and issued Autumn 2017
4 Autumn 2015 Amended, approved and issued Autumn 2016
3 Autumn 2014 Amended, approved and issued Autumn 2015
2 Spring 2013 Amended, approved and issued Autumn 2014
1 January 2013 First draft

This policy is based on LA guidelines issued in November 2012 so that everyone is aware of the processes to be followed if the school is to be closed in extreme weather conditions, or as an emergency.  It has the approval of the Governing Board.

The aim is to have a robust process in place so parents/carers, staff and the general public understand why and when the school has to close.

(a)    When a school has to close for an unexpected reason the decision is made by the Headteacher or, in his/her absence, a designated member of the senior staff.  The following need to be informed and a detailed log kept:

(i)       The Chair of Governors;
(ii)       The LA via the website, log in is required:
(iii)      If appropriate, to inform parents/carers via Signal Radio 01782 441300
(iv)       Any affected staff or contractors’ staff (including catering and cleaning                          and PFI staff). Useful contacts include:
Engie Helpdesk telephone 233030
Louise Weaver – Schools Catering telephone 236467
City Cleaning – 233459

For emergency school closures due to service failures e.g., flooding, electricity, gas and water supply, heating etc please refer to section (f) below

(b)   The decision to close a school is the responsibility of the Headteacher or a designated member of staff. The prime concern is the well-being and safety of pupils and staff.  It is our aim to inform parents/carers at the earliest opportunity.  This will be done by text and reported on Radio Stoke and Signal Radio.  If necessary for H & S reasons the grounds will be closed to all parents and carers and they will be informed by text that no cars will be allowed on site.

(c)      When the school is in session and affected by poor weather conditions, the key question is whether pupils would be safer leaving early. Consideration must be given to the age of the pupils and, for younger pupils, whether parents will be at home. For pupils who can walk between school and home, it is perhaps safer to close at the normal time but to leave the responsibility with the parent to collect their own child earlier, if they wish to do so.

(d)     When, because of weather conditions, the question arises about closing the school rather than   normal opening, the following procedure will apply at         St John’s.

(i)    The decision is made, on site, by the Headteacher or a designated senior member of staff.  Consideration should be based on the condition of the site access paths and supervision of pupils when on site.  St John’s has a procedure where staff telephone the Headteacher or School Business Manager if there are difficulties.
(ii)   The ‘School Emergency Plan’ will be followed.
(iii)      It is the assumption of the City Council that its employees will report for work.  Some employees, however, have chosen to live some distance from their place of work and that can cause them difficulties. It remains the view of the Council that employees should not expect to be paid when they do not work because, by choice, they live where they do.  This situation has not occurred at St John’s, but any disabled or pregnant members of staff will be advised not to travel in if the school is closed.

The guidance for school staff under the control of Governors remains as follows:

  • Schools Remaining Open – staff failing to report for duty should not be paid unless particular circumstances.
  • Schools are Closed to Pupils only – staff failing to report for duty should not be paid. Staff who reported for duty but undertook reduced duties should be paid as normal.
  • Schools are Closed – where staff were informed that they would not be required to attend for duty they should be paid as usual. The staff may be set work to complete from home.
  • Casual Employees – it is suggested that, where casual employees arrived or departed early due to the inclement weather, they should be permitted to make up the hours lost at a later date in order to minimise loss of pay.

(e)     Safety of the Site – St John’s has a robust gritting policy that operates when      required.

(f)      Service Failures – examples include floods, loss of electricity, gas and water           supply, loss of         heating etc.

(i)        Inform Engie Helpdesk on 233030 as soon as any service failure is apparent, recording this as “Category A” service event that is threatening school closure. An Engie operative will attend the school within 1 hour.
(ii)       In the event of a potential school closure please consult your PFI Monitor:
Mike Sproston tel. 235560/07900135662;
Premises & Client Team tel. Kate Bonehill 01782 232427.
*The latest information on rectification of the service will be made available to the Headteacher from the PFI management team that will allow an informed decision to be made.
(iii)      If the Headteacher’s decision is to close the school then the Engie Helpdesk (233030) must be advised. In the case of partial closure unique space reference numbers for those rooms affected will be required to be notified.
(iv)       The process of notification as outlined in (a) above should then be adopted.

Extreme/Critical Incident

In the event of an extreme emergency/critical incident when the school has to be evacuated immediately eg a fire, the following procedures will be put into place:

  • Information will be communicated to the LA, Radio Stoke and Signal Radio and parents/carers as outlined for adverse weather.
  • The incident management team, using key personnel will fulfil their duties.
  • The designated member of staff will collect the emergency folder, including up to date contact/telephone numbers/addresses for pupils and staff, when exiting the building.
  • Our designated host school is Oakhill Primary School.

Adverse Weather /Other Emergencies Policy Version 6 Autumn 2017