On Friday 1st February, we had a rare treat - a few inches of snow to play in!
It was hard to believe the weather forecast on Thursday afternoon, but sure enough, at around 8 o'clock that evening, snow began to fall in the city of Bristol, and we woke up on Friday morning to find the world outside covered with a pure white blanket of freshly fallen snow.
Schools have to make the tricky decision, in the event of snow, whether to stay open. They need to give people plenty of notice if they plan to close. The decision has to be based on a risk assessment: how safe is it for people to travel, and can we be sure that we can keep children safe in school. Usually, this depends on whether we have enough staff, and that depends on whether it is safe enough for them to travel from home.
We are fortunate in that most of our staff live relatively close to the school, and we are usually able to make arrangements to cover for those who are unable to travel. It is hard to make any decision about closure before the snow has started to fall. We all know that weather forecasts can sometimes get it wrong, and we wouldn't want to announce a closure in advance only to wake up next morning to find the snow never arrived!
At HJS, by 8 o'clock in the morning, the site management team have assessed the safety of the site and the Head and Deputy have been informed if any staff are unable to come in. We double check with the catering team that they are able to cook a hot lunch, and at that point, we ping out emails, post on Twitter and update the home page of our website to get the message out. If we had to close, we would also inform Bristol City Council so that they can update their website of school closures.
Parents should always assume that school will be open - regardless of what they hear about other schools in the area. If we have to close, we promise we will communicate by every means possible!