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Last reviewed on 10 January 2017
Ref: 32997
School types: All · School phases: All

Is there guidance on closing a school in emergencies? We link to advice from the DfE on when schools may close. We also link to Ofsted guidance on inspections that fall on a day where the school has closed due to an emergency, and examples of closure procedures from LAs.

School closure guidance from the DfE

The Department for Education (DfE) has guidance on emergency planning and response for schools, which refers to situations where the school should, or should not close.

Severe weather

It explains that in the case of severe weather:

…you should keep your school or early years setting open for as many children as possible.

However, it might be necessary to close temporarily due to inaccessibility or risk of injury. You should do all you can to reopen as soon as possible.

Lack of staff

It explains that where ‘some’ teachers cannot get to work, schools should be flexible in making alternative arrangements.

Temporarily failing to meet the infant class size limits due to exceptional circumstances such as this would not be a reason to close the school or the class.

The guidance says that if the school closes and

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