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Adverse Weather Procedures

During adverse weather, it is the recommendation of the Department for Education and our policy to make every effort to keep Rabbsfarm open for teaching wherever possible.   

The decision to close Rabbsfarm will only be taken as a last resort further to an assessment which determines an unacceptable risk. Examples of adverse or severe weather which may affect Rabbsfarm can include (but are not limited to): 

  • snow or prolonged, extremely cold weather  

  • very strong or gale force winds  

  • very heavy rain leading to the potential for flooding  

If the government/met office issue amber or red weather warning, we will implement a site based one off risk assessment for that particular threat and update staff and parents accordingly. 

Unless they are specifically informed otherwise, please come to school as normal.


Always Check If You Are Unsure

Parents acting on the assumption that the school would be officially closed without first obtaining official confirmation, or failing to inform the school of the circumstances that prevents the child coming into school risk their child being recorded as un-authorised absence as per our attendance policy.  

Our School Closure Policy can be found here: 

  • On Site Safety

    In the event of snow, some pathways will be cleared and gritted.  Parents, children and visitors will need to be aware that pathways, even where cleared, do remain dangerous.  Pupils will be reminded of this in assembly.  Before and after school opening hours, parents are responsible for ensuring their children do not slide or take part in potentially dangerous activities when on the school playground.   

    In icy conditions, the facilities team will salt / grit pathways in the playground but in some circumstances only one pathway may be available and this will be clearly identified using orange tape.  Essential pathways and fire exits will be maintained as clear as possible throughout the day.   

    Where necessary, essential pathways will be maintained as clear as possible throughout the day. The car park will not necessarily be cleared of ice and snow and staff should be aware that due care must be taken at all times. 

    On school days where the school is closed to pupils, the pathway into school will still be maintained during snow and icy weather on a daily basis by the site team, so as to keep the pathways clear and prevent build-up of ice and snow. 

    During adverse weather conditions, parts of the outdoor playground may be restricted in use for the children. This will be risk assessed by the Site Manager and Deputy Headteacher. 

  • Closing the school due to adverse weather and rationale

    The final decision to close Rabbsfarm either before or during a school day rests with the Headteacher.   

    Rabbsfarm will only be closed for teaching if one or more of the following conditions apply:    

    • conditions on-site are dangerous.  

    • insufficient staff are able to come in to keep the school running safely.    

    • severe weather has caused significant problems with fuel, water or catering supplies   

    • conditions are considered to be or are anticipated to later become too hazardous for travel.  

    When severe weather has passed, the Headteacher and appropriate members of the Site Team will conduct a visual check to the premises before announcing it will re-open.    

  • Decision to close the school before the school day

    Be it the day / night before or on the morning of the day in question, once the decision to officially close Rabbsfarm has been made, the Headteacher will arrange for this decision to be communicated to parents as soon as possible and in the following ways – also listed in the body of this policy:  

    • on the school website: https://www.rabbsfarm.org.uk/hillingdon/primary/rabbsfarm 

    • email  

    • text message  

    • recorded telephone message on the school phone line as soon as practicable 

    • notification of closure posted on the school gates as soon as practicable  

    • a ‘school closed sign’ will be placed at the end of Gordon Road to encourage people to not drive down the road as it would cause an additional risk.  

  • Decision to close the school during the school day

    Should pupils need to leave during the school day due to worsening conditions; a text message will be sent to parents / carers informing them that the school is closed and to collect their children. In the event that children are not collected, parents will be contacted by a telephone call.   

    Once notified of a closure, it would be preferable for those parents who are coming to collect their children do so without telephoning the school first unless absolutely necessary so as to avoid blocking the telephone lines.   

  • Emergency supervision of pupils

    Supervision will be available in school until such time as pupils can be collected however we would expect parents to make an effort to collect their children as soon as possible. This will give our staff the best possible opportunity to get home in a timely manner. 

  • Responsibilities of parents / carers

    Parents / carers are expected to check the school websites, their email and text messages when the weather indicates that a closure is a possibility.   

    The school will make all practicable efforts to keep parents / carers informed as to the situation during adverse weather conditions as we understand that such conditions and the possibility of closure may place considerable difficulties upon them.  

    Whilst we endeavour to ensure contact details are up to date for the purposes of text message communication, it is also the responsibility and duty of parents and carers to inform us if any contact details have changed at their earliest convenience. 

  • Recording absence

    Where the school is officially closed, all absence is counted as authorised absence.   

    Where the school is not officially closed, parents should still endeavour to contact the school to let us know they are on their way or if they are likely to be seriously delayed as we still have a statutory duty to record attendance correctly.   

    We appreciate that adverse or severe weather may mean that pupils arrive later than normal.  

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