School Emergency Procedures
It would be extremely rare for Belper School to have to close on a day when it should be open to students. However it is possible that for health and safety reasons such as the failure of the power or water supply we would be unable to remain open. Severe weather such as heavy snow could also cause the closure of the school at short notice.
Hopefully these arrangements will rarely, if ever, be needed but it is important for you to be aware of how we can keep you informed.
Advance warning of event likely to necessitate a school closure
Once advance warning is received, a message will be displayed on the school website indicating the school is currently open, advising parents/carers to regularly check the school website for updates. Decisions will be taken daily and posted on the school website by 7.00am.
Closing before the start of the school day
Please check the school website – a message will be displayed from 7.00am indicating whether the school is open, part-open or closed.
A text may be sent to all parents regarding the closure, however, the best place to check for information is on the school website. Closure information will be displayed on the Derbyshire County Council website. This website also gives you details on how you can sign up to receive notifications of future school closures.
If the school is closed, external examinations will still take place. Students should make every effort to come to school and take their exams. Access into the school will be through the Caretakers Office. Students will be asked to sign in and go straight to the Exam Office to be told where the exam will take place. Students will need to bring exam equipment and their ID card as normal and will be expected to stay in school for the full length of the exam. Exam enquiries on school closure days can be made by calling 01773 825281 ext 251.
Towards the end of the school day, a further message will be posted on the school website regarding the following day. This will indicate either that school will be open, part-open, closed or that a decision will be taken early the following day with a further message being displayed from 7.00am.
Closing during the school day
A text will be sent to all parents regarding the closure and information will be posted on the school website. Closure information will be displayed on the DCC website (derbyshire.gov.uk) however, please note that there is often a delay in the posting of closure information on the DCC website, particularly in severe weather conditions when exceptional numbers of establishments are closing.
Students with pre-authorisation to leave in the event of an emergency closure will be permitted to leave without the need to contact parents/carers. Students without permission will be kept in school until contact is made with their parent/carer and permission given for them to come home*. Your child may call you on their mobile phone or school phone and ask you to speak to their tutor/member of teaching staff/member of the School Office to confirm your permission for them to leave. For students travelling home by school bus, you may allow them to walk home (if safe/practical), make alternative arrangements for collection, or allow them to wait until the bus arrives if they are still operating. Students will not be permitted to leave the school site unless we have pre-authorisation or we have received verbal permission from a parent/carer.
Note: Any students taking external examinations will need to stay in school and take their examinations if it is safe for them to do so as students will not normally be allowed to take the examination on another day and will be marked as absent if they do not turn up.
Important: Students should be made aware that if they are experiencing difficulties getting home once they have left school, or their lift/bus does not arrive, they should return to Student/Visitor reception as soon as possible.
*Sixth form students will be permitted to leave as soon as the decision has been taken to close the school.
As part of the health and safety aspects of running a large organisation, the school has developed a lockdown procedure to implement in the case of a need to do so. This has been promoted by National Guidance given to all schools and does not reflect any particular risk connected to Belper School.
In many ways this is similar to a fire procedure where there are set steps to take within school to ensure that everyone’s safety and welfare is secured. Also, just like with fire procedures, the school will be practising the procedure to test it at least annually.
In the event of a lockdown situation we would notify parents/carers, where possible, via the school website and text alert. If such a situation, parents/carers should refrain from contacting the site as this could tie up phone lines that are needed for support providers. As access to the school would be limited in these circumstances, parents/carers should also refrain from coming to the site as this could interfere and cause problems with the procedures and processes that are taking place. The school will notify parents that a lockdown has ended via the website and text alert, which will also contain information on the next steps to be taken.