Exmouth Community College apology after late closure notice

PUBLISHED: 14:51 01 February 2019

Archant

The principal of Exmouth Community College has apologised to parents who were told about a temporary school closure 10 minutes before classes were due to start.

The principal of Exmouth Community College has apologised to parents who were told about a temporary school closure 10 minutes before classes were due to start.

Some mums and dads were told by text message at around 8.20am the community college would be closed until 11.20am on Friday morning (February 1), following wide-spread snow across Devon overnight.

Classes were due to start at 8.30am, meaning some pupils were turning up for school without knowing about the near two-hour delay.

Some parents claimed their children were being turned away at the school gates, a claim principal Andrew Davis has since denied.

Mr Davis apologised to parents for the late notice and said it only became clear at shortly before 8am that the school was not going to have enough staff to supervise the pupils.

Exmouth mum Michelle Germain said: “The thing most of us parents are annoyed with is we got a text just after 8am and many had already gone to school, via walking, lifts or buses – not great communication.”

In a statement, Mr Davis said: “We were fully intending to open today since the weather in Exmouth was fine and I am very mindful of the burden that closing the school places on parents and carers.

“That decision was dependent on the school site being safe in terms of snow and ice and having enough staff able to get to school so that students could be supervised safely.

“It became clear as staff started their journeys to school that there were large numbers who were going to be late due to either snow and ice, traffic, or both.

“Unfortunately the numbers of staff affected by this only became apparent shortly before 8am.

“We made in clear that students on their way in, already in or on buses would be supervised by the staff that had arrived on site.

“Can I please reassure all parents and carers that no students were turned away from the school at any point during the morning.

“In fact we had staff out in Phear Park and the surrounding area to make sure all students were either safely in school or at home.”

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