As you will probably be aware, the Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for snow across Wales. Most of the country including the Vale of Glamorgan is covered by the warning, which runs through Thursday and Friday. We are hopeful that we will be unaffected! However, in the event of adverse weather, I wish to provide information in advance so that you are fully informed of how the School will aim to manage in the event of severe weather. First and foremost we recognise at the outset the importance of avoiding unnecessary disruption to children’s education through closure. I wish to assure you that we will make every effort to to keep the School open, wherever possible and minimise the need for weather-related closure. Although we will strive to keep the School open, it will sometimes be necessary for me to take the decision to close for reasons outside of our control. A School closure may have to be considered in periods of adverse weather if there are health and safety concerns relating to entering and exiting the school, or if so few teachers can get into school, that too high a Pupil to Teacher Ratio is likely to occur. The ability to provide school meals is also a factor in the decision making process.We have in excess of 140 staff at Cowbridge Comprehensive School living in a range of diverse areas, including staff commuting from Carmarthen, the Welsh Valleys, Newport and Monmouth. The decision to remain open or to close is therefore taken not just by assessing local conditions but also considering the probability of staff being able to commute from far reaching areas, which may be more affected. Making the decision to close the school is therefore very difficult and complex, and the timing and communication of decision is also difficult in a context where a decision to close can often only be taken on the morning of a school day. There is therefore a careful balance to be struck between avoiding unnecessary closure and ensuring that parents, pupils and staff have as much notice as possible, in the event that closure is the only viable option. Therefore, should there be a situation of closure, parents will be informed by Parentmail, via the School website (as soon as practicably possible) and also via local media, the BBC and Local Authority Website. Regular updates will be posted via these methods of communication as and when when the decision and risk assessment changes.
Thank you in advance for your full support
Mrs Thomas Headteacher