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Schools and severe weather

In the event of closures schools will contact parents/carers in the normal way via Groupcall. Parents/carers should ensure that their school/nursery has up to date contact information.

In addition changes will be notified via the School Closures pageFacebook, Twitter and local media.

School closures

The Head Teacher has responsibility for undertaking a risk assessment in the event of severe weather or building difficulties.  There are several factors which may impact on this decision including:

  • the building itself and whether there is water and power
  • access to the school and decisions of school transport operators
  • whether there are enough staff available to ensure that the school can open safely
  • whether it is safe to send children home during severe weather.

The Head Teacher takes the decision to close a school to pupils in consultation with a member of the senior management team in Education Services.

Travelling to school

In extreme weather conditions such as snow, parents/carers should carry out a risk assessment as to whether they consider it safe for their child to travel or walk to school. Parents/carers should then inform the school of their decision at the earliest opportunity.

School Transport procedures in the event of adverse weather

During adverse weather conditions school transport operators have been instructed that if a child is picked up on route and news reaches the driver that the school is closed, the driver will proceed to the school with the child as planned.

Under no circumstances will the driver return to the pick up point until such time as the parents have been informed of the situation. 

It is vitally important that parents are aware that transport may not operate at all in adverse weather conditions and parents must have a contingency plan should the bus not arrive at the pick up point. Please ensure that your child/children are aware of these guidelines and what to do if the bus does not arrive for any reason as normal.

If you have any queries about the school transport procedure please contact Public Transport either by telephone: 01506 280000 or email: customer.service@westlothian.gov.uk.

GLOW

All West Lothian pupils have access to the education community GLOW.  Pupils who can access a computer at home, at libraries or Community Centres, can access study material via GLOW.  The private website has study material and activities. 

West Lothian Council GLOW allows teachers and pupils to communicate over the internet in a safe and secure way. Teachers can post work and lessons for pupils. Pupils can submit completed work. Features include safe and secure 'chat rooms' where teachers can answer pupil questions, and where pupils can help each other out and share learning experiences.  

Norovirus (Winter Vomiting Disease)

A number of schools across Lothian have reported an increase in pupils with vomiting and/or diarrhoea.  The symptoms are suggestive of viral gastroenteritis (also known as norovirus or winter vomiting disease) which is known to be currently circulating in the community.  It is usually a short lived self-limiting illness from which children and adults recover quickly.

Further information about norovirus and its prevention can be found on the NHS Inform Norovirus Information Webpage

To minimise the likelihood of developing norovirus we recommend:

  • If your child develops vomiting and/or diarrhoea please ensure they remain off school until they have been symptom free for at least 48 hours.  This advice applies at all times.  So for instanceif your child becomes unwell over the weekend they should not attend school on Mondayeven if by then they feel well.
  • Ensure that all members of your family wash their hands frequently using warm water and liquid soap, especially after using the toilet and before eating or preparing food.