12-01-17 St. Johns 0 comment


from the Headmaster
Andrew Tardios LL.B. (Hons), B.A. (Hons), Cert. Ed.

Dear Parents,


Attending School – v – Bad Weather Conditions.

As very cold weather with snowfall is being forecast, I am writing to explain our policy on ‘snow days’ and their possible effects on the school.

We need to have a robust ‘weather policy’, because the children’s education will suffer in the long run if we were to close the school every time we have plenty of snow.  Obviously, such a policy must be sensible, without any traces of recklessness, but on the other hand it should not follow the present day trend whereby at the first sign of snow a “day off” is declared.  Real discomfort or difficulty is part of life and children, as well as adults, must learn to cope and to adapt their mental attitude according to circumstances.

We must do our best to draw a distinction between:

  1. very unpleasant and even dreadful weather from
  1. genuinely dangerous weather conditions.

Should the pattern of English weather permanently change for the worse (global warming [!] or whatever the cause) we shall never get any school work done?

Therefore, the policy of St John’s will be that if the conditions are as described above in a), both the Prep. and Senior schools will continue to function as close to normal as possible.  Even if four or five pupils are present in the class, lessons will go on according to the normal lesson plans.  Whether or not the lesson or part of the lesson is repeated later for the absent pupils will, of course, depend on the number of absentees.

If the conditions are as described above in b), then school will be closed and a text to this effect will be sent to your mobile as soon as we can assess the situation as accurately as is reasonably possible.

The final and most important question is:  How can the school clearly define “genuinely dangerous weather conditions”?  This is very difficult to answer conclusively, but a decision will be reached after weighing up the situation and discussing the options with senior members of staff.

Ultimately, as we are teachers and not experienced weather forecasters, the decision will be a subjective one and therefore open to some reasonable doubt.  We do not wish to put the children at risk by any mistaken assessment.  After all, our idea of a calculated risk may not be the same as yours.  Hence, please be assured that we respect your right to decide for yourself whether or not to send your child to school whenever we are faced with difficult weather conditions in the future.


So, in a nutshell:  If you consider conditions to be too dangerous, you will be at perfect liberty to keep your child at home, despite a “school open as normal” text message.  What such a message will mean is that we, at the school, shall be doing our utmost to carry on as usual.  We shall, nevertheless, be keeping a weather eye open and will, of course, keep parents of pupils at the school informed of the situation if it changes for the worse.


Mr. Andrew Tardios,


My direct email: headmaster@stjohnsschool.enfield.sch.uk

To view and download this letter as a PDF, please click HERE