We take the safety of our pupils and staff extremely seriously and on those occasions where the weather presents a particular challenge, this is our overriding consideration.
Our pupils travel from all across the City to their relevant Campus, many of them accessing public or school transport and many of our staff travel much longer distances. So in severe weather conditions we have to balance personal safety in relation to travel arrangements as well as maintaining safe supervision levels once in school for those that can safely make the journey.
We issue a Severe Weather letter to all parents during the Autumn Term and re-issue this at any point during the academic year where extreme weather is forecast. This clarifies arrangements for communicating school closures due to severe weather.
At such times we work with the advice provided by the Local Authority, Highways and School Transport departments as well as national guidance from the Department of Education, but the final decisions are made at the discretion of the Principal and Senior Leadership Team.
Wherever possible parents and carers will be given advance notice of the potential for a school closure and clarification of the arrangements for communicating this decision via our school Website www.rjba.education and the local radio station Heart FM 102.7.
The decision to close school due to extreme weather is taken by the Principal and Senior Team by 06.30am on the day in question and the Home Page of the school website is immediately updated to reflect this
The Principal then notifies Heart FM who communicate the fact that both Campuses are closed in 15 minute updates on school closures. The Principal also informs Schools Transport, who cancel all taxis, the Local Authority Schools Building Team and the Chair of the Governing body. Meanwhile other Senior Team members contact all Academy staff.
We make every effort to safely ensure a member of the Senior Leadership Team is present in the main school office at Fitzwilliam Campus on the first day of a snow closure from 07.30am – 10.00am in order to respond to telephone calls from parents / carers or care for any pupil, who despite the communications, arrives in school and make safe arrangements for them to go home.
Where severe weather necessitates a school closure of more than one day we will endeavour to make and communicate that decision before the end of the first day, and both the school website and the Local Radio are updated.
In the event a severe weather school closure clashes with a public examination we make every effort to safely provide adequate access and supervision for pupils to take it and in these circumstances will communicate arrangements directly to those pupils affected.