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.
Mr Jon Smith, Headteacher
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…