ABERDEENSHIRE COUNCIL GUIDANCE ON SCHOOL CLOSURES
School Closure Due to Bad Weather or Other Emergencies
We want to work in partnership with parents and carers to ensure the safety of children at all times. These guidelines outline the procedures for dealing with school closures during bad weather or other emergencies.
We would like you to:
- Ensure your child wears appropriate outdoor clothes throughout the winter.
- Decide whether it is safe for your child to travel to school in bad weather, either by school transport or on foot.
- Provide the school with information about emergency contacts to whom your child can be sent at short notice if you are not available. Also tell the office about any changes to this information and to your daytime contact details.
- Provide the school with a bad weather address within safe walking distance of the school.
- If school transport is not running please don’t take your child – or other children – to school yourself unless it is safe for you to do so. You will be responsible for ensuring that the children you took to school are transported home again and therefore need to be available in the event that the school has to close early due to deteriorating weather conditions.
- In difficult weather conditions pupils should not wait any longer than 15 minutes past the normal pick up time before returning home. In case the transport doesn’t arrive please make sure you have made alternative arrangements for your child.
- If your child travels by school transport you are responsible for their safety to and from the pick up/drop off point whether they use school transport or a public service vehicle.
School transport contractors have been told not to allow children to walk home alone from drop-off points under any circumstances during extreme weather conditions. If you can’t meet or arrange for your child to be met, the school transport will return them to a designated location.
Public service vehicles – drivers of these vehicles follow a specified route and keep to timetables – they cannot make special arrangements.
When will schools be closed?
Head Teachers decide if and when schools should close due to bad weather or another emergency. In bad weather they will decide this after receiving information about local weather conditions. This decision can be made during any time, day or night.
During bad weather some staff may not be able to get to school – so the school may have to close because there are too few teachers present. Sometimes only part of the school will be closed or only some of the pupils will be dismissed early.
If you are concerned about local weather conditions contact the school. You may wish to collect your child yourself and are free to do so provided you make arrangements with the school.
Nursery, Primary and Special Schools
If your child attends a Nursery, Primary or Special School, which is to close early, the school will contact you by telephone. If this is not possible the school will contact your named ‘emergency contact’. No child will be released from school without contact being made. It is important contact details are current and the people named are available – particularly during bad weather.
Because of the large number of pupils in Secondary Schools, it is impossible to inform all parents in advance of emergency closures and schools may dismiss pupils without first contacting parents. Individual schools will let parents know of any local arrangements.
What education might my child be missing?
Some parents and pupils worry that important examinations or work is missed because the school is closed or conditions make it difficult to attend. But the safety and welfare of children must take precedence when making judgements about travelling to school in bad weather. Arrangements can be made for lost time to be made up and examinations can be rearranged.
All pupils have been issued with a snow closure activity letter with suggested learning activities for snow closure days.
Outwith school hours, your local radio station is a good place to find out information on school closures. The following radio stations receive updated information every 15 mins from our website:
MW 1035 kHz
BBC Radio Scotland
FM 92.4 – 94.7MW 810 kHz
Moray Firth Radio
FM 97.4 MW 1107 kHz
North East Community Radio
FM 97.1 – 106.4
Original 106 FM
Aberdeenshire Council Website
You also have the option to sign up to receive email alerts when your school(s) updates their closure status:
School Information Line
Tel: 0870 054 4999 then school pin number (021730). If you cannot get through first time, please do not put this number on redial. This will only lead to the line being busier. Please note: Call charges to the School Information Line will depend on your contract with your telephone service provider, for example, calling from your home telephone may differ in price from calling from your mobile phone.
Public Transport Unit (9am – 5pm) 01224 665194
Education Offices (9am – 5pm)
Banff – 01261 813340
Fraserburgh – 01346 515303
Peterhead – 01779 473269
Inverurie – 01467 620981
Stonehaven – 01569 766960
Contact Details -It is vital that parents keep us informed of up to date telephone contact numbers – home, work and local emergency contact(s) so that we can be sure of reaching you in any emergency situation.