School Closure in the event of inclement weather e.g. snow
Each year we face the possibility of closing the school because of snow. The decision to close is not an easy one as quite rightly, we are expected to do our utmost to continue the education of our pupils. However, the safety of the pupils and staff has to come first, and sometimes we have no option but to close the school. Please remember that many of our staff live quite a distance from the school so we often have to make a decision to open or close based upon whether we have enough canteen staff, teachers and so on.
Please do not assume you will get through to school by telephone. Usually our lines are jammed!
Guidelines For Parents
SCHOOL WEBSITE: If you are able to access the website, (simply Google Cefn Saeson to get to our site) please take note of our message. We aim to make a decision on closure by 7.30 a.m. – but please be patient, the situation can change quickly.
TEXTING: If we have your current mobile numbers, we aim to text parents directly, but please check the website anyway.
The Local Authority will aim to contact local radio stations should we decide to close e.g. Swansea Sound, the Wave, and Radio Wales.
LOCAL AUTHORITY WEBSITE: This will give information about closures, but is likely to be later in the morning than our own website.
Sometimes a bus company may decide not to run, but this information is not always easy to get quickly. You may wish to contact the relevant bus company to check whether buses are running:
D.J. Thomas (01639 635502); First Cymru (01792 863131).
Snow during the day, whilst pupils are in school
This is often the most difficult situation, because it is impossible to predict whether the snow will stick, or how the roads will cope with any fall that occurs. The school will do its best to take advice from the LA, and will listen to forecasts. However, as we are situated at the top of a hill, local conditions may well differ to those found elsewhere. This is not an exact science, and two years ago we were caught out when a heavy fall prevented buses from reaching the school to take children home. In this case, as time moved on, the situation first worsened; but then by about 4 p.m., the roads became passable.
In such cases:
· It is important not to panic.
· Please remember, we are not a primary school, we are a school of nearly 700 pupils, and it is simply not possible to ‘phone parents about a closure decision (please consider how long it would take to make that number of calls! – it would be self-defeating).
· All pupils will be told that if they are not able to walk home safely, or do not have access to their home, they must let their teachers know and they must report to room 15 or the main office.
· Pupils will be allowed to use the office ‘phones if they need to contact parents.
· A number of teachers (which will usually include a member of the senior staff) will remain at school to look after any children who can not get home safely by themselves.
· Remember that pupils are safe if they stay at school.
Indeed, the LA states:
“It may be the case that only those pupils travelling by bus, or those living in rural areas and areas more seriously affected by adverse weather, need be sent home early or, in the event of staff absence, those pupils whose parents can collect them. There may be no safety benefits in sending home early those pupils who walk. Indeed, this may cause further problems and may impact on other services if parents need to leave their place of work early in order to look after their children.”
Once again, this provides evidence that decision-making can be a science! We can and will do our best.
Whatever our decision, it will be placed on the school website as soon as possible.