In the event of bad weather overnight, or other emergency situation, the Headteacher will decide whether it is possible to open the school as normal: considerations include police advice on travelling (including the safety of walking/cycling to school), the ability of the school buses to pick up students safely, the availability of staff who often have longer journeys to school, the safety of the site and the weather forecast.
If the school is closed we will make every effort to inform parents/carers. This includes texting parents, updating the website (www.thehambleschool.co.uk) and the Hampshire Education website (http://www.hants.gov.uk/schoolclosures) which will contain details of all local school closures. The Hampshire Local Authority will also contact local radio stations advising them of the closure. If the disruption is widespread, these services can suffer from technical problems due to heavy usage so please check that any information has been recently updated.
On the first day of any closure you are advised to listen to the local radio stations or check the website first. If the school is closed you do not need to report your child as absent.
Closing the school early during the day
If the weather deteriorates during the day we may need to close early so that students and staff can get home safely. If this happens, we will use texts and email to alert parents, and update the website.
All students will return to their tutor groups so that we can check that they are able to get home safely. Students will be dismissed in the following order:
- Students who travel by school bus are collected from the front Reception by staff on duty and taken to the bus bay as their bus arrives.
- Students who need to go home by car will be supported by SWS staff to contact their parents to make arrangements: parents should then come to Reception to collect them on arrival and please check with the senior member of staff on duty before leaving.
- Students who walk home are allowed to leave as normal.
- We sometimes ask families of students and staff who live locally if they can offer hospitality to students who are facing long delays: in this case, we check that parents know where their children are going and can keep in contact with them. We also keep a record of where students are going.
PLEASE can parents make sure that their children can get back into the house safely if the buses need to leave early – e.g. if a parent is not at home, that the student has a key or knows a neighbour who has a spare key or with whom they can take refuge.
If the school is closed for more than one day
School work will be available on ShowMyHomework and students will be expected to check their emails. As far as possible, staff will set work according to the timetable for that day, but priority will be given to the Key Stage 4 curriculum (Years 10 and 11).
Please continue to look at the website for information about re-opening. We may need to re-open in stages (e.g. Years 10-11 for the first day) while we continue to make the site accessible for larger numbers of students and vehicles.
In extraordinary circumstances – we may suspend normal school uniform arrangements so that students can dress appropriately for the weather. We will announce this clearly on the website and students are then expected to dress sensibly both for the weather and for a normal school day. Once the circumstances return to normal, students are expected to observe the normal school uniform rules again.
Some buses may not be able to operate or only cover a limited route: we are very grateful to parents who are able to get their children into school but realise this is not possible for everyone. If the school bus is cancelled you do not need to notify us of your child’s absence. We do our utmost to remain in frequent contact with the bus companies and try to keep the website up to date as we receive information. Despite everyone’s best efforts, decisions about school buses are sometimes unclear until the bus is due to leave the depot in the morning – or even part way round a route. The drivers always try their best to keep going but they also need to be responsible for their passengers and their own safety.
We will continue to put school work on ShowMyHomework for students who have to remain at home and expect them to do their best to continue with their studies from home.
We will make every attempt to open the school for any public examinations and are optimistic that we will be able to do so.
Checklist for Parents and Students
- Check that mobile ‘phones are charged, have credit and have up to date daytime contact numbers for Mum/Dad etc.
- Make sure you know your bus route if you travel by school bus.
- If the house may be empty during the day, check you have a key/know where to go if the school closes early.
- Parents to ensure they have given up to date ‘phone numbers and e-mail addresses to the school office.