The decision to close or partially close a school can only be made by the headteacher and it is made in consultation with the Chair of Governors wherever possible. The decision is based on access to essential services (heating, water etc), staffing levels, transport safety and site safety. In particular the decision-making process takes account of:
Consideration is given to closing the school to just some year groups and/or changing the opening and closing time if either will avoid complete closure. Consideration is also given to offering a reduced curriculum (or even non-curriculum) provision as an alternative to closure.
Information about emergency and planned school closures is published on the County Council website: https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/school-closures. This is the main source of up-to-date county-wide information about school closures and is a key resource especially in times of widespread closures, for example, as a result of severe weather.
The school informs Oxfordshire County Council immediately in the event of a school closure and it is advised, where possible, of the date of reopening.
Local radio plays a key role in transmitting school closure information rapidly to parents. In the event of a closure, the school contacts the county-wide radio stations; Radio Oxford, Heart (Thames Valley) and Jack FM. We therefore do advise you to listen to one of the local radio stations. If there are a large number of school closures the local radio stations will often refer listeners to Oxfordshire County Council website as the main public source of school closure information. We advise parents not to ring the radio station but to stay tuned for further details.
We will communicate school closure and reopening information via Parentmail, update the school website accordingly and endeavour to provide a recorded message on the telephone system.
The school makes sure all coach, minibus and car operators are informed of the decision to close. Transport operators are responsible for deciding if transport can be provided according to weather conditions etc.
The school will make arrangements to receive pupils who are unaware of a closure and ensure that during office hours the school telephone is staffed as far as possible, even if the school is closed, as we endeavour to deal with enquiries from parents. The school will ensure that governors are kept informed of school closures so that measures can be taken to suit local needs.