Emergency Closures Policy

Emergency Closures Policy

Introduction
The school policy on emergency closures was drafted by the Board of Management.  It will be circulated to the entire school community via the school website in due course.

Rationale
The need for the school to devise a policy on emergency closures is primarily due to
a) Inclement weather such as heavy snowfalls, high winds etc.
b) Frozen pipes which may cause a break down in heating system.
c) Leaks in the local water scheme which may cause a Health and Safety issue regarding access to toilets.

Relationship to School Ethos
PETNS strives to provide a child friendly, secure environment catering for all the needs of all students as far as is practicable and where respect is fostered in a culture which values diversity and difference

Aims and Objectives

  • To provide for the welfare of all pupils and staff while on the school premises
  • To ensure a safe, child friendly school environment is available to all children and staff.
  • To comply with Health and Safety legislation

Procedures

Heavy Snowfall
In the event of a heavy snowfall, the Principal shall consult with the Chairperson of the B.O.M. before 07:30 to discuss the situation and make a decision. If closing, parents will be contacted via the text-a-parent service before 8am.

In the event of an emergency closure during the day due to severe snowfall, parents will be contacted via the text-a-parent service and staff will remain with children until all are collected.

Any bus operators servicing the school will be contacted by the Principal or another designated person, confirming that the school will not be opening. If the snowfall is prolonged over a number of days and the school is closed indefinitely, parents and bus operators will be informed of re-opening dates via text-A-Parent and information will be posted daily on www.petns.ie , our Facebook page and   www.schooldays.ie .

 

School closure will be a last resort. Every effort will be made to keep the school open at all times. The safety and welfare of pupils, staff and parents will be paramount in making any decision.

Disconnection of Services
Where water or electricity services to the school are to be disconnected, a week’s notification is normally given to the school authorities. This enables the school to furnish the parent body with the relevant advance warning of such closures via circular or text.

Where the heating system breaks down or the water pipes burst, parents will be given notice as soon as possible via text. Every measure will be taken to repair the system as soon as possible.

High Winds / Thunderstorms
The procedures in place for heavy snowfall are generally replicated in the event of storms / lightning i.e. parents and bus operators are contacted via text and informed that the school will remain closed. If the school has already opened and is in operation when high winds etc. occur and remaining on the premises is a risk to all, teachers will remain on the premises until all children have been collected by parents / guardians or bus operators.

Critical Incident / Death
In some instances the school might remain closed for pupils in the event of a critical incident or death of a staff member, B.O.M member or pupil. Parents are informed of such closures either by circular or text whichever is appropriate. (Please See Critical Incident Policy).

 

 

Date ratified:      20th September 2012

Date for review: September 2014