For news on school closures
In severe weather parents and pupils should assume the school is OPEN unless there is a message on our website www.deerparkschool.net saying we are closed. We will also post on our Twitter account @CDPStoday.
Our status can also be checked on Gloucestershire County Council - School Closures or you can follow them on Twitter @Glos_schools. Closure details will be broadcast on local radio - BBC Radio Gloucestershire 95.0FM (Stroud), 95.8FM (Cirencester); Severn Sound 102.4FM.
We aim to send a text message to all parents and staff if we are unable to open and will do this as soon as we can make a reasonable assessment of the conditions.
Why do schools close due to bad weather?
Snow may look pretty but we know it is a major inconvenience to people who have to travel. We also know that for working parents when the school has to close this presents further problems with regard to childcare. So why do schools close when it snows when most other businesses manage to stay open?
The key issue is the safety of pupils and staff. This includes weighing up many different risks regarding travelling to school, site safety and pupil supervision on site. Chiquita Henson, Headteacher, explained; ‘Shutting our school is the very last option for us and is not a decision that is taken lightly. Maintaining the rhythm of learning is extremely important, but we have to balance that against the risks to our pupils and staff.’
In the event of severe weather conditions we liaise closely with our local transport companies and senior staff in our neighbouring schools and college. As well as monitoring local weather reports, we ring around staff in outlying areas to assess the travel conditions that might be affecting pupils and staff who come to school by car and bus. We also aim to clear the access roads to our site and ensure it is safe for the children to return to once the worst of the poor weather is over.
If we do not feel that it is safe for pupils or staff to travel we will close. This reduces the number of vehicles on icy roads at peak times. Furthermore, we will close if we feel that we will not have sufficient members of staff on site to allow us to effectively supervise around 1000 pupils or if the site is unsafe due to snow or ice or loss of water or electricity because we have a responsibility not just for the safety of our staff but also for your children.
If the school remains open (as we try to do) during bad weather, as a parent you can make the decision about whether or not you feel it is safe for your child to travel to school. If the school is open and you make your own assessment that travel to school is not safe from where you live, then please keep your child at home. If you let us know that their absence is specifically due to travel problems caused by the bad weather, we can record this as a special category of absence.
Let us hope we have a snow-free few months and that difficult decisions about whether to open or close are unnecessary.