CARE AND LEARNING SERVICE
GUIDELINES FOR PARENTS
TRAVELLING TO SCHOOL DURING ADVERSE WEATHER
It is the responsibility of parents or carers to decide if a pupil should attempt to travel to school, by transport or on foot, in adverse weather conditions. The Council encourages full attendance at school but in severe weather conditions the safety of pupils is much more important. Parents and pupils are often concerned that important examinations may be missed, but this should not over-ride good judgement. Schools normally make alternative arrangements for missed examinations.
The school updates its procedures for adverse weather closure annually, therefore
- parents should advise schools of an alternative address, as close as possible to the school, which may be used by their children in emergencies
- the school will advise parents of normal local arrangements for school transport and any special arrangements in the event of adverse weather
- the school will establish a system of communication with parents and local transport operators and ensure that parents are fully informed of any revised arrangements. A telephone service is offered to provide parents with up-to-date information. Parents may call 0800 564 2272 to access your schools’ information. Please note, you will need the unique pin number for your school which is available from your school or Highland Council website. http://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/4653/telephone_pins_for_checking_if_a_school_is_closed
The Highland Council Website, Facebook and Twitter
- The Council’s website http://www.highland.gov.uk/schoolclosures will be updated with information for individual schools
- The Council’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/highlandcouncil will show updated posts on the latest news of school closures and weather related problems
- The Council’s Twitter page at https://twitter.com/HighlandCouncil will list Tweets of the latest news of school closures and weather related problems
When weather conditions are poor
Local radio stations issue news and weather bulletins on traffic conditions and school closures. Transmissions may not cover all households and may be subject to re-scheduling but should be helpful. Parents are advised to remain “tuned in” to ongoing road weather, or school information updates.
BBC Radio Highland
In extreme conditions, Radio Highland will interrupt Radio Scotland transmissions (usually on the hour), to carry emergency bulletins.
Nevis Radio will carry bulletins at roughly ten minute intervals between 7.00 am and 8.00 am
Lochbroom FM will carry bulletins at quarter-hour intervals between 7.15 am and 8.45 am.
Moray Firth Radio http://www.mfr.co.uk
Local news on the hour 6am – 6pm carries local information on weather, roads and conditions affecting schools. In severe conditions normal programmes will be interrupted more frequently to carry emergency bulletins.
Two Lochs Radio will broadcast a local news bulletins from 7.30am. In severe conditions normal programmes will be interrupted more frequently to carry emergency bulletins.
Please do not telephone local Radio for advice but listen to appropriate broadcasts.
For pupils using school transport
- Parents should note that the final decision on whether it is safe to operate rests with the driver of the school transport vehicle. Therefore there may be occasions on which a school is open but some routes, or parts of routes, are unable to operate
- Parents should advise their children on how long they should wait at the pick up point for their transport. This will depend on the prevailing weather conditions and the availability of shelter at the pick-up point. During adverse weather conditions no pupil is expected to wait longer than twenty minutes past the normal “pick-up” time
- Morning journeys may be delayed by an hour if road conditions are unsafe at the normal journey time but have improved within the hour. Before pupils return to a pick up point parents should check the schools telephone information line for updated messages from their schools Head teacher. Please note that for some routes the transport operator may contact the parent directly
- Drivers are advised not to drop off children where there is a risk that they may not safely reach home or other place of shelter. This may involve children being taken to an alternative place of safety, agreed in consultation with the school
- Where parents are concerned about weather conditions at “drop-off” points, they should contact the school as early as possible
Please note: when weather conditions are poor, parents should ensure that children are met at the “drop-off” point, especially where public service transport is used.
(Updated on website November 2016)