Eglish National School
Policy on Emergency Closures
The school policy on emergency closures was drafted as a whole school exercise, involving parents, pupils, staff and Board of Management.
The need for the school to produce a policy on emergency closures in recent years was primarily due to:
- The poor state of the school building.
- Inclement weather, such as heavy snowfalls, high wind, frozen pipes, etc.
- Repairs to the school which may necessitate unscheduled closures on Health & Safety grounds.
Relationship to School Ethos:
Eglish NS 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 while on the school premises.
- To ensure a safe, child friendly school environment is available to all children.
- To comply with Health & Safety legislation.
Heavy Snowfall/Frozen pipes:
In the event of a heavy snowfall/frozen pipes, the Principal shall consult with the Chairperson of the Board of Management as soon as is feasible, and a decision will be made as to whether it is in the interests of all parties to close the school.
If it is decided to close the school, the school authorities will contact the parents via phone call/text message.
If the inclement weather conditions are prolonged over a number of days and the school is closed indefinitely, parents will be informed of re-opening dates through the local radio station and text to parents.
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 warning via note home or text.It is not the policy of the school to confirm such closures through the local radio station.
The procedures in place for heavy snowfall/frozen pipes are generally replicated in the event of storms/lightning i.e. parents are contacted via note/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 o the premises until all the children have been collected by their parents/guardians/designated person.
In some instances the school might remain closed for pupil sin the event of a critical incident or death of a staff member, Board of Management member or pupil.Parents are informed of such closures either by a note/text.In this particular instance, the school may remain open to staff and Board of Management or Parents Association if issues such as church services, Guards of honour, readings or counselling is required (see Critical Incident Policy).
All half days and in-service closures are notified to Parents via note/text at least one week in advance.
Roles and Responsibilities:
Emergency closures in the school place particular responsibilities on various personnel within the school chain of command:
- Positive school community feedback.
- Compliance with Health & Safety legislation.
- Maintaining a safe school environment for all staff, children and parents.