Rationale

It is the philosophy of Pastures Way Nursery School and Meadows Children’s Centre to keep the setting open on snow days, wherever possible, in order that we can provide unbroken education for all of our children as well as consistent care for working and studying parents.

Nursery opening guidelines

Staff should assume the nursery will always be open. On the morning of a snow day, in extreme weather circumstances only, the Headteacher (or senior leader in the absence of the Headteacher) may make a decision to close.  

Informing Luton Council

The Headteacher (or Senior Leader in the absence of the Headteacher) must email Luton Council Website the decision to open or close by 7.30am. We will always make the decision to open and then close later in the day if conditions worsen. The email must be sent to web@luton.gov.uk – Sue M and Sue W have the password that needs to be put in the subject line. In the email we must add:

  • Pastures Way Nursery School
  • Open
  • Brief note of any conditions: Priority will be given to parents who pay for care if there is a staff shortage

If we are open:

  • The decision to open will be sent to the Luton Council Website (see details above)
  • Staff should assume that we will be open and therefore will not be sending them a message about closure
  • Staff within walking distance are expected to walk in, if they can do so safely
  • Staff who are not able to get into school must contact the school as usual to report the absence
  • Staff who are not able to get into school will not be paid or may take it as a lieu day (if they have any available)
  • Staff who are parents and who have a child at home requiring care on that day, e.g. because their own school is closed, may request time off for dependants
  • According to the number of staff in school, we will allow children to attend within our correct ratio, on a first come, first served basis
  • Priority for taking children into school will be given to parents who pay for Care
  • Information on the TV. screen and website will include a message advising parents to call before setting off to check that there is a place for their child in nursery on any snow day

Nursery closure guidelines

If we are closed / or if we need to close during the day:

  • The decision to close will be sent to the Luton Council Website (see details above)
  • Admin staff (or Senior Leader in the absence of admin staff) will send a text regarding our closure to all our families who have signed up to the service (and also to staff if the decision is taken early morning)
  • Please note it is the responsibility of staff to ensure that the office has a current mobile phone number for them
  • Staff will be paid as it is the decision of the Headteacher (or Senior Leader in the absence of the Headteacher) not to open

 Children’s Centre Guidelines

  • During severe weather conditions families will not be encouraged to put themselves at risk by attempting to get to the centre
  • Staff who are not able to get into the centre must contact the school office as usual to report the absence
  • Staff who are not able to get into the centre will not be paid or may take it as a lieu day (if they have any available)
  • If it is decided to close the centre, admin staff will contact staff
  • In the event of closure, staff will be paid 

Closure during the day – procedure for contacting parents / carers

  • Senior leaders / cover staff to cover for team leaders to phone their own class families
  • Phone parents of children in the baby and toddler rooms first
  • There are two school phone lines available and a pay as you go school mobile phone – so three team leaders can potentially be phoning out at the same time
  • Staff should leave a message for parents / carers who do not answer their phone call, and ask them to call us back once the message is picked up –  so we know whether to expect them
  • Staff will be allowed to go home, as children are collected, in order of those facing the most dangerous homeward journey, whilst keeping children not yet collected within the correct staff / child ratio 

Guidelines for using the outdoor area on a snow day

  • On arrival, children in the Under / Over 3s will remain indoors until Over 3s story time ends at 9.35am
  • At 9.35am, the decision to go outdoors will be risk assessed by staff and senior leaders jointly
  • Both the playground and the jungle garden will be risk assessed, as sometimes, if one area needs to be closed the other area is safe to open
  • Children can play in falling snow and soft fallen snow
  • Reasons not to go out include concerns about ice and compacted snow becoming very icy 

 

Agreed by Governors:  26.06.13

Review Date:     Summer Term 2016