Snow Days

Thursday, January 05, 2017

We hope you all had a restful Christmas break and are looking forward to the new year ahead.
With January now upon us, we thought you might benefit from a reminder of how to deal with disruption caused by adverse weather conditions.

Prepare in advance:
  • Where snow is predicted, remind staff of reporting requirements if they cannot get into work. Include details of who to contact, how (e.g. by phone/text), what time they need to make contact by and who to send lesson plans to if your school remains open. You can issue/refer to an adverse weather policy covering these details;
  • If there is a chance staff may be unable to travel to school, consider asking them to take work/laptops home with them.
School closure:
  • Notify all staff (as well as students/parents) as early as possible in the event of a school closure;
  • Ask staff to work from home where they have the facility to do so;
  • If your school is closed, staff should be paid as usual for that day.
School remains open but staff cannot travel:
  • If your school remains open but you are short staffed, ask existing members of teaching staff to cover classes. The School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) permits schools to ask staff to cover lessons in unforeseen circumstances and it would therefore be reasonable to ask staff to cover in this situation;
  • A teacher who cannot travel to school should still have prepared lessons for that day and these should be submitted to a designated member of staff to be distributed to the person covering those lessons;
  • If your school is open but staff cannot travel due to the weather, they are not entitled to be paid for that day (unless you have a policy that provides otherwise or the staff member works from home). This is at the school’s discretion balancing not wanting to encourage staff to take any unnecessary risks to get into work against wanting to avoid staff seeing snow days as additional unpaid leave. If you don’t have one, put a policy in place to deal with this to ensure consistency. Staff should be informed of the approach the School is taking ASAP and in advance of any adjustments to pay.

If you would like to discuss this or any other particular circumstances in further detail, or would like a copy of our adverse weather policy, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0845 459 7013 or email

Don't forget...

.... that our HR Advisory service now includes an annual visit to your school.  You can use this visit to apprise us of any new developments in your school or alternatively to assist you with any HR issues that are better dealt with face to face.

There is no extra cost for this visit and it is available to all HR Advisory clients old and new.  If you would like to book a visit by one of our consultants to your school, please contact us on 0845 459 7013.

"Head teachers have a difficult job and often have to balance several conflicting viewpoints. Indeed, when dealing with multiple stakeholders and various interested parties simultaneously, it is always good to have a "reflective hand" to provide advice and guidance.” John Leigh, Head teacher - Sandbach Academy

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