Shropshire MP calls for schools to give parents more notice of closures
An MP has called for schools to give parents, carers, staff and pupils as much notice as possible of a decision to close due to bad weather or other emergencies.
A number of constituents have contacted Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard in recent weeks about the challenges of being told their children's school was closed at short notice due to bad weather, leaving them struggling to balance work, caring responsibilities and childcare.
Mr Pritchard took up the issue with the Secretary of State for Education. He asked for him to issue guidance to schools on the minimum notice which parents should be given.
Nick Gibb MP, the minister of state for education confirmed that the Department for Education has updated its emergency planning and response guidance, which sets out how education and childcare providers should plan for and deal with emergencies, including significant public health incidents and severe weather.
The minister also confirmed that all education and childcare providers should have plans in place which explain how they would respond effectively in the event of an emergency, including severe weather, and how they will continue to prioritise and maximise face-to-face learning.
The guidance outlines that a good plan should cover how providers would communicate any changes to children, pupils, students, parents, carers, and staff.
Mr Pritchard said: "There can be very good reasons for school closures, but it is important that parents, carers, school staff and pupils are given as much notice as possible by schools so that alternative childcare and caring arrangements can be made."