At winter time there is always the possibility of extreme weather conditions. I am writing to update you in relation to how the decision is arrived at to close the school and what further arrangements are put in place.
Decisions on school closure are always very difficult with many issues to be considered. Significant communication takes place early morning as most staff live in rural areas in different parts of the county and it is necessary to initially assess their ability to get to school safely. The quota of staff, in particular senior managers, able to get to school impacts on whether we are able to run the school safely.
An early morning site risk assessment by the premises manager also takes place. An assessment of Mandeville Road itself by parent governor also takes place to assess whether cars are sliding on it which would pose a serious danger to children and parents walking to school. Unfortunately Mandeville Road and surrounding roads have a history of becoming an ice rink and staying like one for far longer than many other roads in the area, making it particularly hazardous.
A decision on school closure is usually made just before 7.00am and our school ‘snow line’ hits in which includes the instruction for information to be put on the website. The BBC is contacted so that information can be obtained from BBC Essex and Heart radio is also contacted. The premises manager will respond to parent enquiries from the school office.
I would like to reassure parents that the impact by school closure on the community and parents is not taken lightly and every effort is made to keep the school open. The governing body supported by a number of concerned parents have been raising the issue of gritting the estate with local councillors for a number of years without a positive outcome.
Mr M. Bailey
Chair of Governors