Page last updated at 9:30 AM, 10/07/2011
INFORMATION FOR PARENTS/CARERS
This page gives Parents/Carers answers to questions about school closures. If your question is not answered here, please email email@example.com.
What kind of school closures are there?
- Emergency - where the building cannot open as there is no hot water, the heating is not working or power failure.
- Planned - Where the school building is closed for elections, industrial action or utility companies are doing planned maintenance work to gas, water or electric services in the area and all services are to be shut off. Schools are notified in advance of these closures and Headteachers will notify Parents/Carers of these closures.
- Severe Weather - Headteachers will make the decision locally to close where severe weather prevents the school from opening.
How will I find out if my child’s school is closed?
- Headteachers will make the decision as early as possible on the day of the closure. If you have registered for School Closure Alerts on Fife Direct, any closures will be automatically sent to your mobile phone and/or email account
- You can sign up for text or email alerts through www.fifedirect.org.uk/alerts and look for school closure alert.
- Text alerts and email issued via mobile network providers, may be delayed where there is high volume on mobile networks or the internet.
- Schools may also have their own methods of contacting Parents/Carers, such as school bag mail and email/text through electronic communication systems.
When will I receive further email or text alerts from Fife Direct?
- You will only receive text alerts when the status of a school changes. The first text/email will be sent when the school closes and a further text/email will be sent only once the school reopens. If a school remains closed over more than one day, there will be no further automatic alerts until the school reopens.
My child has recently moved school?
- If your child moved to a new school or from a primary school to a high school in August 2011, you should amend the school details on your Fife Direct account to ensure you receive the correct school information. In the case of any other change, you should also make sure your details on Fife Direct are correct.
What can Parents/Carers expect in cases of severe weather?
- The Education Service aims to maintain service delivery during severe weather and minimise disruption to pupils and Parents/Carers.
- Headteachers will close their school as early as possible, on the first morning of severe weather to allow text/email alerts to be issued as quickly as possible.
- Education Service staff will prioritise the clearing of one pathway per school as an access route for all building users. This may not be your usual route into the school and it may not be the quickest route through the building.
- Where there is heavy snowfall in Fife, resources will be deployed to the worst hit areas and therefore the clearing of playgrounds and car parks will not be a priority until all schools are open.
- It may not be possible to provide staff for all crossings during the worst of the weather. You should make arrangements to ensure the safety of your child to and from school.
What are the other main channels of communication during severe weather?
- It can be helpful if you use some of these communication channels during periods of severe weather closures:
- Sign up for School Closure Alerts on Fife Direct (www.fifedirect.org.uk/alerts and look for school closure alerts)
- E-mail alerts on closures to your personal account
- Facebook - Go to www.facebook.com/fifecouncil
- Twitter - Go to www.twitter.com/fifecouncil
- FifeDirect online website - Go to www.fifedirect.org.uk
- Radio bulletins - we contact Kingdom (95.2 and 96.1), Tay (102.8 and 96.4) and Forth FM (97.3), every time there is a change in service
- Television bulletins - STV and BBC
- Online news sites - especially the BBC
- Daily press including the Courier
- Automated telephone closure line - 08451 55 11 99 and choose from the options given
- Mobile website - m.fifedirect.org.uk
- DigiTV (Red Button On Sky and Virgin Media under Interactive Services, Local Services)
My child is transported to school by bus, will the services still operate?
- For those pupils who are transported to school by bus, please check www.fifedirect.org.uk, facebook or twitter for information which will be received from local bus companies.
- Buses may not be able to enter housing schemes to collect pupils from designated bus stops and will only stop at the main road to pick up pupils. Pupils should therefore make their way to main roads and congregate at the nearest bus stop.
- Pupils transported by taxis/mini-bus, will also possibly experience disruption during severe weather. In extreme weather conditions, the operators may not be able to provide transport from some or all the addresses on their route. Operators are expected, as far as possible, to make an attempt to contact these parents to advise them.
How can my child continue with their studies when the school is closed?
- Pupils can access revision material on line as well as use the materials and past papers which may have already been provided by their teachers.
- Many Higher and Advanced Higher courses are provided for via the internet through the Scholar program. Pupils studying most subjects can access their Scholar accounts on scholar.hw.ac.uk which provides tutorials, examination questions and E-assessments.
- Pupils who have access to their Glow accounts will find a range of information that will be very helpful. Please make sure that your child retains their username and password for access.
- Primary schools pupils can access a range of leaning opportunities on Radio Waves.
- BBC, Channel 4 and Learning and Teaching Scotland websites provide very good materials for revision.
How can I hear if school events have been cancelled in cases of severe weather?
- Where a school has closed on the morning of severe weather, it is likely that any evening events planned for that day will be cancelled. Updates will be provided on www.fifedirect.org.uk, Facebook and Twitter.
- “Community use” schools will not open when a school has been closed during the day.
Please stay safe and warm: make sure that you allow extra time for any journeys made during severe weather and that pupils are dressed appropriately.