Adverse Weather Conditions

HIGHLAND COUNCIL EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT SERVICE – GUIDELINES FOR PARENTS

TRAVELLING TO SCHOOL DURING ADVERSE WEATHER

It is the responsibility of parents/carers to decide if a pupil should attempt to travel to school, by transport or on foot, in adverse weather conditions. The Education Authority encourages full attendance at school but in severe weather condition the safety of pupils is much more important.

During spells of inclement weather the school will not open if:-

  • The roads are difficult – although the main road may be reasonably clear, the bus contractors have single-track routes off the main road, which are often not ploughed or gritted. Bus contractors are not prepared to take risks when young children are involved.
  • If there has been a lengthy interruption to the power supply overnight and the school heating system has not been able to heat the school for the morning.

Announcements on School Closures or alterations to transport arrangements will be made on the Councils Telephone information service, on Moray Firth Radio or alternatively check the Highland Council or school website, (see below).

How to use the Council information Service

  1. Dial Highland Council’s access number – 08005642272
  2. Enter Halkirk School’s Pin Number – 042170
  3. You will hear the school’s name
  4. You will be taken to the main menu where you will be given four options
  5. Press 1 to hear the school’s message about adverse weather

Moray Firth Radio

Normally hourly news bulletins and half-hourly summaries will carry local information on weather, roads and conditions affecting schools. In severe conditions normal programmes will be interrupted more frequently to carry emergency bulletins.

Please do not telephone local Radio for advice but listen to appropriate broadcasts; however MFR has a very good website http://www.mfr.co.uk which details school closures which you may find useful if there are problems with the Highland Council website detailed below.

School Closure Website

Information regarding school closures can also be found on the following websites:-

https://www.highland.gov.uk/schoolclosures

For pupils using school transport

  • Parents should advise their children on how long they should wait at the pick up point for their transport. This will depend on the prevailing weather conditions and the availability of shelter at the pick-up point. During adverse weather conditions no pupil is expected to wait longer than twenty minutes past the normal “pick-up” time.
  • For safety parents of pupils living on the back roads of Scotscalder and Shurrery may be asked to take their child to the main road or agreed pick up point to catch the school bus if they feel it is safe to do so.
  • Parents should note differences between contract vehicles and public service vehicles. Drivers of contract vehicles are advised not to drop off children where there is any doubt that they may not safely reach home or another place of shelter. Drivers of public service vehicles must travel their normal routes and cannot make special provision for individual pupils.
  • Where parents are concerned about weather conditions at “drop-off” points, they should contact the school as early as possible.

When weather conditions are poor, parents should arrange to have children met at the “drop-off” point especially where public service transport is used.