ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS
With the onset of winter approaching, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you (especially new Nursery and P1 parents) of procedures during extreme weather conditions. The safety of our pupils and staff at all times is our prime consideration. Parents/carers should decide, under such conditions, whether it is safe for their children to travel.
The school`s policy in Adverse Weather Conditions, would be to try and keep the school open whenever possible. As a school we have put preventative measures in place and an assessment on whether to stay open or closed would be based on several factors, for example, conditions outside and inside the building (heating, meals, etc.) and whether there were enough staff to teach and supervise the children. An assessment would be made as early as is possible in the morning.
- The main source of information for parents is the updated messages on our dial-in- telephone service under Option 1.
First dial the Highland Council`s access number –
0800 564 2272
and then enter the school`s pin number when asked –
PLEASE KEEP THIS IN A SAFE PLACE SO THAT YOU WILL HAVE THE INFORMATION TO HAND.
- If the weather is extremely severe, parents should listen to Radio Highland and/or Moray Firth radio in the morning. They will issue regular updates of school closures throughout their breakfast time broadcasts. Morning bulletins will be around 7.10, 7.40, 8.10 and 8.40 am and will also include local information on weather, roads and conditions affecting schools. In severe conditions normal programmes will be interrupted more frequently to carry emergency bulletins. Please do not telephone the radio station for advice.
- You may also access up to date information on school closures on
Highland Council Weather Website –http://www.schoolclosures.highlandschools.org.uk.
If a closure has to occur during the course of a school day, a telephone call will be made to the Highland Council School Closures line and MFR will also be updated with information. We will also contact parents/carers by telephone to arrange for pupils to be collected.
If parents are unavailable, the emergency contact will be notified. Therefore it is imperative that, should there be a change in circumstances, the school should be notified immediately. This includes a change of address, home telephone number or a change of emergency contact. No children will be sent home on their own without the permission of parents. They will be kept safe within the school building.
Thank you for your support in this matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school.
Updated Highland Council policy for parents 2016 – 17:
CARE AND LEARNING SERVICE
GUIDELINES FOR PARENTS
TRAVELLING TO SCHOOL DURING ADVERSE WEATHER
It is the responsibility of parents or carers to decide if a pupil should attempt to travel to school, by transport or on foot, in adverse weather conditions. The Council encourages full attendance at school but in severe weather conditions the safety of pupils is much more important. Parents and pupils are often concerned that important examinations may be missed, but this should not over-ride good judgement. Schools normally make alternative arrangements for missed examinations.
The school updates its procedures for adverse weather closure annually, therefore
- parents should advise schools of an alternative address, as close as possible to the school, which may be used by their children in emergencies
- the school will advise parents of normal local arrangements for school transport and any special arrangements in the event of adverse weather
- the school will establish a system of communication with parents and local transport operators and ensure that parents are fully informed of any revised arrangements. A telephone service is offered to provide parents with up-to-date information. Parents may call 0800 564 2272 to access your schools’ information. Please note, you will need the unique pin number for your school which is available from your school or Highland Council website. http://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/4653/telephone_pins_for_checking_if_a_school_is_closed
The Highland Council Website, Facebook and Twitter
- The Council’s website http://www.highland.gov.uk/schoolclosures will be updated with information for individual schools
- The Council’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/highlandcouncil will show updated posts on the latest news of school closures and weather related problems
- The Council’s Twitter page at https://twitter.com/HighlandCouncil will list Tweets of the latest news of school closures and weather related problems
When weather conditions are poor
Local radio stations issue news and weather bulletins on traffic conditions and school closures. Transmissions may not cover all households and may be subject to re-scheduling but should be helpful. Parents are advised to remain “tuned in” to ongoing road weather, or school information updates.
BBC Radio Highland
In extreme conditions, Radio Highland will interrupt Radio Scotland transmissions (usually on the hour), to carry emergency bulletins.
Nevis Radio will carry bulletins at roughly ten minute intervals between 7.00 am and 8.00 am
Lochbroom FM will carry bulletins at quarter-hour intervals between 7.15 am and 8.45 am.
Moray Firth Radio http://www.mfr.co.uk
Local news on the hour 6am – 6pm carries local information on weather, roads and conditions affecting schools. In severe conditions normal programmes will be interrupted more frequently to carry emergency bulletins.
Two Lochs Radio will broadcast a local news bulletins from 7.30am. In severe conditions normal programmes will be interrupted more frequently to carry emergency bulletins.
Please do not telephone local Radio for advice but listen to appropriate broadcasts.
For pupils using school transport
- Parents should note that the final decision on whether it is safe to operate rests with the driver of the school transport vehicle. Therefore there may be occasions on which a school is open but some routes, or parts of routes, are unable to operate
- Parents should advise their children on how long they should wait at the pick up point for their transport. This will depend on the prevailing weather conditions and the availability of shelter at the pick-up point. During adverse weather conditions no pupil is expected to wait longer than twenty minutes past the normal “pick-up” time
- Morning journeys may be delayed by an hour if road conditions are unsafe at the normal journey time but have improved within the hour. Before pupils return to a pick up point parents should check the schools telephone information line for updated messages from their schools Head teacher. Please note that for some routes the transport operator may contact the parent directly
- Drivers are advised not to drop off children where there is a risk that they may not safely reach home or other place of shelter. This may involve children being taken to an alternative place of safety, agreed in consultation with the school
- Where parents are concerned about weather conditions at “drop-off” points, they should contact the school as early as possible
Please note: when weather conditions are poor, parents should ensure that children are met at the “drop-off” point, especially where public service transport is used.