Emergency school closures: guidance

Understand when you can close your school in an emergency. Find out how and when to contact your local authority and parents, and how to request an Ofsted inspection deferral due to emergency closure.

Last reviewed on 14 June 2022See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 32997
  1. When can I close the school?
  2. Put in place remote learning
  3. Communicate with your LA and parents
  4. Ofsted deferrals for school closures

When can I close the school?

Severe weather conditions

Some incidences of flooding or snow may mean it's necessary to close your school temporarily due to inaccessibility or risk of injury.

However, you should keep your school open for as many children as you can, and do everything you can to reopen as soon as possible.

See page 8 of the DfE's guidance on emergency planning and responses for education settings. 

Public health incidents

You may be required to temporarily close your school following a significant public health incident, such as a COVID-19 outbreak or confirmed cases of another infectious disease.

This decision may be made at a national or local level depending on the situation. You should work with your local authority (LA), local director of public health and local Health Security Agency (UKHSA) health protection team.

Read more about preparing for

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.