COBRAS (the Buxton Primary Cluster) has a joint approach to snow and school closures and we felt it would be useful to share this with parents and carers of the children in our schools. We always try to keep schools open but we have to consider a number of factors in the morning. The main roads may be open but if staff can’t reach them, they can’t get into school. We have to wait to hear the availability of a minimum number of staff before we can confirm that we are opening and sometimes this depends on the day of the week, which staff work that day and whether they can make it in. Also, if it is snowing heavily in the morning, we have to consider whether or not we might close later in the day as that can potentially be more disruptive for parents. We also have to consider whether our catering staff and deliveries can get into school as we cannot open if we are not able provide dinners.
All of this means that the decision to close or stay open is often very difficult. In the event of bad weather, all the COBRAS headteachers and Buxton Community School are in touch with each other as early as 6am. Although we consider the same factors, some schools may open, some may not, depending on our individual circumstances. We will always try to let you know by 7.30am via Parenthub, the website and High Peak Radio, but if sometimes it is a little later than that, it will be because it’s been impossible to make the decision before then.
We will always inform you by ParentHub and our website whether we are open or not. If you can’t check either, please call school to find out, do not assume we are shut. If you are not able to send your child in due to the snow, please inform school. We appreciate that the office can be busy at these times, but please leave a voicemail if you cannot get through, as we need to know that children are safe.
Also, closing early is always a very difficult decision to make and is never taken lightly, but we have several staff who live out of Buxton who need to get home safely. We also have many children who do not live within walking distance of school who need to get home before the roads worsen.
If we do decide to close early we will, of course, look after your children until you get here so if you cannot get here straight away please rest assured that your children will be safe. There is no need to call school to let us know what time you will get here. However, we would appreciate it if you could organise collection as soon as possible before 3.35pm, so that all staff and children can leave school safely. If no-one is able to collect your child but someone will be at home for them, please contact school as we need consent from you before we can allow them to leave, even if your child normally leaves unaccompanied at 3.35pm.
Many thanks for your understanding and support on this - the snow can be beautiful but also makes life a bit more difficult for everyone!