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Severe Snow/Ice Plan

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

Severe Snow/Ice Plan for Parents and Families

““Schools should, wherever possible, stay open in severe weather. They play a key role in their communities and by staying open help both their pupils and parents. ” – Department for Education

 

Every winter brings the possibility of snow and ice. Extreme bad weather can cause widespread and prolonged disruption. Schools are often affected and it can be difficult to maintain an education service.

 

As a fundamental principle every effort must be made to keep schools open, even if only limited numbers of pupils can attend. However schools may close due to ‘unavoidable’ circumstances. Those circumstances being that it is no longer safe for staff or pupils to be onsite.

 

We recognise that it is important that our school remains open so parents are able to work and pupils can continue to learn.  St. Simon’s will make every effort to prepare for severe snow/ice this winter by:

  • Undertaking an early morning KCC  risk assessment for snow and ice on days of severe weather before taking the decision to close 
  •  gritting pathways
  •  clearing access points
  • boiler maintenance

 

How will we let you me know if the school is closed?

 

However, if we do experience severe snow/ice resulting in hazardous conditions, our head teacher may have to take the decision to close the school. Once this decision has been made we will notify parents via the Kent Closures website. To determine whether St. Simon’s is open or closed please visit www.kentclosures.co.uk. Search for the school in the search box. The Kent Closures website can also be used to find out if other services in Kent are open or closed, such as nurseries, children’s centres and libraries. We also recommend parents sign up for SMS/ Email alerts on the Kent Closures website. This service will send an SMS or email alert to let parents know if St. Simon’s is closed. Parents can also listen to KMFM, BBC Radio Kent or Heart FM to hear if the school has closed.

 

What can you do to help?

 

  • Please visit www.kent.gov.uk/winter for more information about gritting routes and travel issues around Kent so you can plan your journey.
  • Please can you provide a packed lunch from home in case school meals cannot be transported.
  • Don’t forget suitable warm clothing – gloves, hats, scarves, wellies etc. or even a change of clothing.
  • Volunteer for snow clearing of the pathways at the beginning and end of the day as we only have Mr Moore – St. Simon’s caretaker.  Just turn up with shovel and Mr Moore will make you welcome!
  • Consider drop off after 9am when the temperatures generally improve and roads are less busy and hazardous – we do not mind as some of our staff will be late too for the same reason!
  • Volunteer to stay on after drop off to help staff who have made it in
  • Ensure emergency contact numbers are up to date with school office

 

If you are a working parent or feel you may have a problem with a sudden earlier pick up, please could you put a back-up plan in place with another family member or parent and inform the school. This will allow staff to leave earlier for their safety if weather dictates.

 

Many thanks for your support in helping St. Simon’s remain open during periods of severe snow/ice.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr Peter McCabe

Head teacher

 

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