QES Special News 2017-18

School Closure - 28 February

Dear Parents and Guardians

We’d like to thank you for your patience and support when we have to make the difficult decision to close as we did last Wednesday.

We thought it might be helpful to explain how we make such a decision and also to let you know that we are reviewing our processes for communicating with you and looking at how we can make this rare occurrence as safe and appropriate for all in our community.

Obviously our location has a significant impact. We have students and staff coming from all three counties, and all three can have vastly different weather! On Wednesday we had some staff arriving, as we did, at about 7.30am with little difficulty, and others calling in to school to say they couldn’t manoeuvre their car out of their street. We also had teaching staff informing us of their children’s primary schools being closed.

Ultimately, when we can’t function as a school as too many teaching staff will be absent we have to close. This was particularly difficult to calculate on Wednesday. An added complication are the number of bus companies who bring our children in to school, albeit that they work with us positively. A few contacted us and informed us that they were not running, others were already picking children up when we decided to close.

We try to communicate with you by 8.00am if we are closing and we ask that parents make sure their children know exactly where to go and what to do in these circumstances. In school there was a team of us on the telephone, updating our website, seeing parents and pupils at the front of school and trying to ensure the messages were communicated clearly and that everyone was safe.

We are reviewing this process and, of course, every situation is different. We can still remember the decision to close after Storm Desmond and the reality that so many in our community had had a very challenging weekend and that many families had no electricity. In the end the decision to close is always a last resort and a judgement call in the hope that it is the right decision for the majority of pupils, parents and staff, but that’s not to say it is not disruptive and frustrating for many of you when it happens; we genuinely appreciate your support and patience in these circumstances.

Let’s hope that there is no cause for such a decision to be made any time soon.

Best wishes

Cathy O’Neill, QES Headteacher, and Alison Wilkinson, QEStudio Principal

Just for reference, here is our document on Enforced Closures that was posted on our website homepage last year

Information on Enforced Closures

Here is an additional document on coping with poor weather

Information on Winter Weather

Last modified: Monday, 5 March 2018, 10:08 PM