Snow Closure – A Message From Mr. Smith 11


Dear Parents, Carers and Children,

I think it’s fair to say that we’ve had more snow overnight and this morning than the forecasters were predicting; as a result we have been forced to close our school today.

Closing the school is not a decision that I take lightly but I had a number of issues to consider this morning:

1.     Pupil safety – Having spoke to Mr Isles at Richard De Clare we both felt that the road and footpath conditions around the town were already treacherous and, by later on today, are only likely to deteriorate.

2.     Forecast – The forecasters are predicting more snow throughout Essex today – to open, then have to close is a logistical challenge and very inconvenient, especially for parents and carers.

3.     Staffing levels – By approximately 7.10am it became apparent that only two of our class teachers could get into work this morning. We could get a number of our support staff in, but to operate a school in difficult weather conditions, with a reduced staff team would be far from sensible.

4.     “The child factor” –  I often listen to radio ‘phone in’ shows – and there are always callers who criticise schools for closing due to snow. The common argument is that ‘my office has stayed open, so why can’t a school?’ I understand this point, but in reality the answer is simple; offices and businesses, as a general rule, do not have 200 children sitting at desks and answering phones! Children are more likely to have an accident, children need constant supervision and by their nature they are unpredictable. You cannot ‘risk it’ or take chances when children are part of the equation.

I know that my decision to close will be supported by some and criticised by others; as Headteacher it is difficult to make a decision that keeps everyone happy! I know that closing a school causes problems for working parents; I can only apologise for this and assure you that if I felt we could have opened safely, then we would have.

Keep warm, keep safe and children…enjoy your day off.

Best wishes

Mr Jon Smith, Headteacher

PS

And a quick message from Mr. Handy…

This morning by 7.15am we’d already broken our previous record for daily visits to the website! It’s weeks like this that make a website especially valuable and I hope you’ve all found it a useful resource. This is just a reminder from me that whereas the BBC Essex site is receiving calls from countless schools and organisations I update this site (and our Facebook & Twitter pages) within seconds of getting ‘the call’ from Mr. Smith. If there’s no news on here then no decision has been made, and as soon as one is you’ll read it here first. I will continue to keep the site up to date with news regarding school openings and events today, tomorrow & throughout the winter. Have a happy & safe day, and fingers crossed for the PTA Christmas Bazaar tomorrow…

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11 thoughts on “Snow Closure – A Message From Mr. Smith

  • Jo Jamieson

    Great that you made decision to close school. Personally it terrifies me driving in snow and there is no way I’d either like to drive or walk with Billy in this weather. Billy is a child who finds it almost impossible not to run – an accident waiting to happen!!

    Website is definitely the best thing and it’s great to finally have somewhere to get up to date info.

  • Jo Bridgeman (Little Angels Preschool)

    I think you’ve made the right decision for the safety of everyone. The roads around the school were bad enough yesterday with the ice.
    You can never please everyone all of the time, and being in charge the “buck stops with you” if anyone did have an accident, whilst at school.
    the website was a great help to us this morning, being able to inform our parents too.
    Fingers crossed for tomorrow!

  • Liz Williamson

    I fully support your decision to close the school. I am a working parent and although I do have to ask a huge favour from my mum to look after Emily, (as my office is still open), it has been very stressful walking Emily to school the past couple of days. The paths and pavements are treacherous. You only have the childrens best interests at heart and I think the majority of parents realise that.

  • Mandy Winter

    I fully support your decision to close the school, yesterday was a scary journey to and from school so today would have been far far worse. I would also like to say that the school website is excellent, it certainly works for me and my family, just a shame Ramsey cant be as efficient!!!!! Keep up the excellent work.

  • anthea jones

    great decision paths are very bad,i fell over yesterday on grit cutting both knees and injuring two fingers.finley said he had been warned about running on salt this proves how dangerous it is take care everyone.hope the cold snap dosent last for long even if the children want it to.

  • Tracy

    Having watched cars wheel spinning and sliding backwards down Beridge Road yesterday – it was definitely the right decision to close the school today as the roads and paths were treacherous again this morning.
    This website has been excellent at providing the snow information – much better than waiting for the BBC Essex website to update re school closures!

  • Tracey Jones(Cummings)

    I agree with all the above, with having a small baby and three boys running ahead, and no confidence driving on ice or snow, i was quite relieved for the day, hopefully we might see you tomorrow, fingers crossed!

  • Amanda

    What they have all said above. Having 4 little ones, one of which has many extra needs and who seems to find a way to fall over any little thing, I welcomed your decision this morning, …I was not looking forward to the Beridge Road drive at all !!!

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