Schools and education

In times of severe weather schools may close and there could be some disruption to Fife Council's services.  The information here should help answer most questions.

Severe weather FAQs - Schools

Published by: Fife Council

In times of severe weather schools may close and there could be some disruption to Fife Council's services.  The information here should help answer most questions.

Q.      What kind of school closures are there?

  • Emergency - where there is no advance warning and the building cannot open, for example if there is no hot water, heating is not working or there is a power failure.
  • Planned- Where the school building is closed for elections, industrial action or if 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 to close based on the local weather conditons that affect the school's ability to open at all or to remain open.
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Q.      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. Up-to-date information is available on www.fifedirect.org.uk/closures.
  • If you have registered for School Closure Alerts through your FifeDirect account, any closures will be automatically sent to your mobile phone and/or email account. You can register for a FifeDirect account at www.fifedirect.org.uk/join. Once registered you can set-up school closure alerts on facebook - see the note about how to do this at https://www.facebook.com/notes/fife-council/creating-school-alerts-on-fifedirect/232061843530079
  • Text alerts and emails, issued via mobile network providers, may be delayed where there is high volume on your mobile network or on the mail servers of your email provider.
  • Schools may also have their own methods of contacting Parents/Carers, such as school bag mail or by groupcall messaging.  These will be issued after the alert that comes through via FifeDirect.
  • Other communication channels include local radio, facebook, twitter and DigiTV.
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Q.      When will I receive further email or text alerts from FifeDirect?

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.

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Q.      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 this year, you should log-in to your account in FifeDirect and amend the school details on your school closure alerts to ensure you receive the correct school information.  In the case of any other change i.e. you have changed your mobile phone number or email address, you should also make sure your details on FifeDirect are correct and that you have told the school.

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Q.      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.
  • If a school needs to close Headteachers will do this as early as possible on the day, to allow text/email alerts to be issued promptly.
  • 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 any clearing of playgrounds or car parks will not be a priority until all schools are open with one route in.
  • It may not be possible to provide staff for all crossing patrols during the worst of the weather.  You should make arrangements to ensure the safety of your child to and from school.
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Q.      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:

 

 

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Q.      My child is transported to school by bus, will the services still operate?

  • For those pupils who are transported to schoolby bus, please ensure that you have registered with  www.fifedirect.org.uk/news- for information on the latest school closures and disruptions.
  • Fife Council may also receive information from bus companies which will be added to FifeDirectFacebook or Twitter as it becomes available.
  • Further details on the status of your school bus may be obtained by calling your bus operator direct. The telephone number is available from your timetable or from the QR code on your bus pass.
  • Buses may not be able to enter housing schemes to collect pupils from the 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 when access to side streets is poor.
  • Pupils transported by taxis/minibuses, 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.

 

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Q.      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.
     
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Q.      How can I hear if school events have been cancelled in cases of severe weather?

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