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Snow update

Dear Parents,

Thank you for your patience and understanding regarding today’s school closure. It is never a decision taken lightly to close school. I’m also sure that you’ll appreciate that it takes a while to collate the key information that informs the decision making process.

Those things considered being:

  • Is there a fundamental reason to close school? e.g. do we have sufficient heating/running water in school?
  • Do we have food provision? e.g. can we provide meals for more than 300 children over lunchtime? The closure of CJS is fundamental in this.
  • Do we have enough staff to keep the children safe over lunchtime while other members of staff have breaks?
  • Do we have adequate staffing for children to be safe in school? This being the most complex, not only do we need a member of staff in every classroom, we need 2 in FS2 plus our SEND pupils need their one to one support in order for everyone to be safe.
  • Do the staff we have available have the necessary skills we need? – whilst we have an amazing team and everyone is very capable, some children / classes have very particular needs and are more impacted by unfamiliar adults being with them.
  • Are we compromising staff, children and parents safety in encouraging them to travel to school? Nobody would want the responsibility of an accident on their conscience.
  • Can our school site be made safe for staff, children and parents to move around? Being a ‘split site’ is a particular factor for our school. Children and staff frequently move between the portacabins and the main school.

We have a significant number of staff who live locally but only 3 teachers, not enough to run a school for 360 children.

I can understand the frustration around not knowing what may happen tomorrow but to lose two days of learning time is a significant decision; it’s 1% of the year. The forecast may improve or the travel conditions may ease with more gritters out and traffic using the roads.

It is likely that, if the weather continues as it is, we will make a decision this evening to close in order to enable parents to make contingency plans for tomorrow. If, by chance, we open in the morning, any child unable to attend as childcare has been pre-arranged will have their absence authorised.

Many thanks for your understanding,

Mrs Galley

PS. The chicks are fine, Miss Clark and Mr Archer are looking after them… we have 5 so far, I think!