School closure could result from loss of power, heating, water or other essential services.
There is a duty on Governors and on the City Council to provide an educational service for children and young people. Decisions concerned with school closures due to severe weather conditions are therefore most appropriately made on a school by school basis reflecting local circumstances.
EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS
In the event of extreme weather conditions the Assistant Director: Education & Learning Services will liaise with the Police and Emergency Services and other City Council Directorates in order to offer advice to school management /Site Service Officers. If this advice is to recommend that schools in general close this will be given out by local radio stations to help parents. Other local media will be asked to carry the same message.
CLOSURE ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
Head Teachers, in consultation where practicable with their Chair of Governors, should assess the situation. In their assessment they should take account of the:-
a) safety and accessibility of the site and surrounding area
b) availability of heat, light, power and water
c) availability of staff
d) availability of meals
COMMUNICATION OF OPEN / CLOSED DECISION
The decision of school closure should be taken at an appropriate time, preferably the day before any closure and should allow for adequate communication of the decision to parents and pupils. In the event that weather conditions deteriorate overnight, the Head Teacher should liaise with his/her Site Service Officer to check the conditions against the above criteria.
If it has snowed, or is snowing, Head Teachers are requested to log on to the Council's website at www.coventry.gov.uk/snowlinelogin and complete the online proforma to confirm whether the school is open or closed. This information will be automatically e-mailed to the local radio stations, the e-Communications team, CLYP, Transport and Catering Services.
In the event that Heads are unable to use the on-line system, an e-mail or telephone call will be made to the e-Communications team.
Parents should be encouraged to listen to the local radio stations for up to date information, they can also find information at :
Closures will also be reported on Coventry City Council's Twitter account :
www.twitter.com/coventrycc and Facebook account www.facebook.com/coventrycc
Parents should be requested not to telephone the media as this may impede communication between schools and the radio station.
CLOSURE OF THE SCHOOL DURING THE DAY
If a situation develops during the school day which results in the school having to be closed early, the Chair of Governors will be contacted; parents will be notified and asked to collect their child as soon as possible.
At least two members of staff will remain on site until all children have left the premises.
Staff who live furthest from the school will be allowed to leave first.