Snow Plan Policy

Introduction

All schools require to plan for winter or adverse weather conditions that may affect the running of the school. St Helens Council have issued guidance on this matter. The school has taken this guidance into consideration in identifying the procedures and controls in place to reduce the impact of adverse weather.

The school building is a PFI scheme. This means that the school does not directly own or manage the school premises or grounds. The task of maintenance and repair is the responsibility of the Facilities Management organisation, Interserve FM. It is the responsibility of FM to ensure that the premises are available for use and maintained in a suitable and acceptable manner. FM responsibilities also include the movement of furniture and equipment to facilitate the normal daily running of the school, e.g. setting up chairs for assemblies and litter picking.

In the event of adverse weather, it is the contractual responsibility of FM to make the site safe. This includes the following actions:

  • Clearing of all critical paths. The aerial photograph is to be used to identify priority.
  • Applying salt / grit where appropriate.
  • Coning and taping off areas that are not accessible.
  • Recording that the site has been cleared in accordance to the plan.
  • Notifying the Head or Business Manager if the site is not safe.

In accordance with the briefing 11th February 2014, the following specific actions are required:

  • The clearing of areas will commence from back to front.
  • Only when all specified areas and paths are cleared will the school building be opened.
  • Car Parks need not be cleared if they are not specified on the plan. If they are to remain closed, then the area needs to be coned and taped with appropriate signage displayed.
  • Intereserve FM are to record that the clearance is complete. The record is to be made available to the school.

This plan is drawn in co-operation with Interserve FM.

This plan is intended to cover the three key events
1. To minimise the risk of closure of the school in the event of adverse weather.
2. When adverse weather prevents the school from opening, ensuring effective communication and in re-opening the site as soon as possible.
3. To manage the closure of the site if necessary during the school day.

In all events, the priorities are as follows:
1. To ensure the safety of all individuals, pupils, children, employees, visitors and agents of the school.
2. To prevent or minimise the risk of damage to assets of the school.
3. To minimise disruption to the functioning of the school.

The school’s Health & Safety Policy and the guidance of St Helens Council are key reference documents to this plan.

Role of the Principal

St Helens Council has identified and stated the role of the Head teacher / Principal.

The responsibility for the school site rests with the Head Teacher and decisions must be taken regarding school closures by the Head Teacher in consultation with the Chair of the Governing Body. All Heads should ensure that in times of potential unavoidable school closure that CYPS Property Services have up to date telephone numbers and contact details. The general rule is that when schools are closed to pupils, all staff should attend as normal. If the school is closed to staff, in extreme circumstances, the Head Teacher should attend the site daily to ensure accurate communication and key tasks are being undertaken to prepare to re-open the premises for staff and ultimately staff and pupils. If, in exceptional circumstances, the Head Teacher is not available then there should be a named senior person on site each day and contact details of this person must be provided to CYPS Property Services 01744 671867/1868.

Plans

To Minimise the Risk of Closure

Key objectives

  • To ensure that the building is functional for use.
  • To ensure that safe access and egress is available.

Preparation

  • Agreement of Critical route ways between School and FM.

Key actions

  • The operational management of the site is the responsibility of FM Interserve.
  • Grit and salt is ordered by FM Interserve.
  • Snow Clearance is provided by FM Interserve.
  • Critical route-ways are identified on the site plan.
  • FM Interserve are required to inform the Principal or designated person that the site is safe and accessible.

When the school is prevented from opening.

Key objectives:

  • To ensure effective and swift communication of the closure is made to all relevant parties.
  • To re-open the school as soon as possible.

Preparation:

  • Agreement of Critical route ways between School and FM.
  • Parental contact details to be maintained.
  • Remote links to website checked to ensure updates are available.
  • Staff are made aware of the procedure for dealing with closure. According to St Helens Council, it is the employee’s responsibility to arrive at work. If school is closed to pupils, staff are still expected to attend. If staff are unable to attend they may be required to take annual leave or not be paid.

Key actions:

  • The decision will be made by the Principal after taking advice from FM Interserve.
  • All pupils will be notified using the Text system.
  • A message notifying of the closure will be posted on the school Website by the Principal.
  • The Council’s Property Services section will be informed 01744 671867/1870/1868
  • FM Interserve will be instructed to commence clearance of critical route-ways.
  • The Principal will monitor the situation and update Property Services and the website regularly.
  • School will recommence as soon as possible on the next working day after the site is determined safe and available for use.

When closure is required during the school day.

Key objectives:

  • To ensure safe egress for all on the school site.
  • To ensure effective and swift communication of the closure is made to all relevant parties.
  • To re-open the school as soon as possible.

Preparation:

  • Parental contact details should be maintained, including mobile phone.
  • A sticker (see appendix) is required in every pupils’ planner. This will identify how pupils will be dismissed according to their parents’ direction.

Key actions:

  • A message notifying of the closure will be posted on the school Website.
  • The message will inform parents of how pupils are to be dismissed and despatched from school.
  • Parents will be notified using the Text system.
  • The Council’s Property Services section will be informed 01744 671867/1870/1868
  • FM Interserve will be instructed to commence clearance of critical route-ways to ensure safe egress.
  • Pupils will be informed in class.
  • Pupils will be returned to Form Rooms. If the school closure is caused by lack of staff, then groups may be assembled in the sports hall, Auditorium, canteen or other notified communal space.
  • If school buses are not available, pupils will be informed of alternative options.
  • Pupils will be dismissed in accordance with the instructions in Pupils’ planners.
  • Pupils who can be dismissed will be registered and permitted to leave.
  • Pupils who require parental supervision will stay on site until they are collected. Pupils collected will be registered and permitted to leave.
  • Once parents collect, pupils will be registered and permitted to leave.
  • Pupils will be safeguarded at all times. Staff will be expected to remain on site until pupils are dismissed. Sufficient numbers will remain on site as pupils are dismissed.
  • The Principal will assess if a reduced number of staff are required to stay to safeguard those pupils remaining on site.
  • Pupils remaining on site at the end of the normal school day will be dismissed at that time.
  • The Principal will monitor the situation and update Property Services and the website regularly.
  • School will remain closed until it is determined available for use.
  • FM Interserve will be instructed to commence clearance of critical route-ways.
  • School will recommence as soon as possible on the next working day after the site is determined safe and available for use.

Appendix

In the event of the school being closed early due to an emergency or adverse weather conditions or if buses are not able to come, please indicate below how you would like your son/daughter to get home.

  • Remain in school until collected
  • Make own way home
  • Make own way to another destination (please state)

(Delete as applicable)