I hope your children had an enjoyable day today. We even had the coloured footballs out at lunchtime to ensure that play could continue!
It is now 4.30pm and the weather has taken a noticeable turn over the last three hours. The roads are apparently slightly chaotic - which is evidenced by the fact that we have a number of children whose parents are currently stuck in traffic. We also have a few staff members who have had to leave their cars in the school car park and walk home. Whilst waiting outside, from 2pm onwards, a number of parents let me know that they would not be sending their pupils to school tomorrow.
Therefore, I am making the difficult decision to close the school on Friday. I have made an early decision to enable parents to make suitable arrangements for childcare. As a parent myself I know that it is not easy to change plans at the very last minute. I appreciate that this will frustrate some parents (but may please others) - I hope that you will understand the fact that I have a duty of care to my staff who have to travel from an area encompassing Dorchester to Christchurch. Many of the staff also have children at schools that are closed tomorrow and therefore have childcare difficulties themselves to contend with (several joined us today). Whilst it was 'fun' today to play in the snow, if it turns to ice the school site will less easy to manage safely. Finally, our hot meal provider's host school is closed and we cannot guarantee the delivery of the meals at the moment.
I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to welcoming the warmth of Spring as from Monday. If the weather changes overnight I fully understand that this could look a 'hasty' decision but sometimes I think it is important to consider all the available evidence and make a 'judgement' call to ensure that effective plans can be put in place.