Winter Weather Advice


With colder weather forecast and certain parts of the UK likely to experience snow over the next week  – we thought it would be timely to share some guidance concerning working arrangements during periods of adverse weather.

Schools should wherever possible stay open during periods of adverse weather.

Employees have a contractual duty to report to work and should make every reasonable effort to attend work in adverse weather conditions even if their arrival is delayed. 

However Schools should have due regard to the health and safety of Employees and may use their discretion in making appropriate alternative arrangements according to local conditions and individual circumstances. 

To enable employees to attend work - schools may consider temporary flexible working arrangements for example allowing individuals to arrive later or leave earlier than usual.

In instances where the Headteacher determines that the school should close - all Employees should continue to receive full pay.  However Employees may be expected to undertake reasonable alternative duties including working from home or attending another of the school’s site.

Employees are not automatically entitled to pay if they are unable to get to work because of travel disruption arising from bad weather.

Staff who are unable to attend work because their usual child/dependent care arrangements are not available or their child’s school has closed, should endeavour to make alternative care arrangements wherever possible. Where this is not possible unpaid leave may be granted and in exceptional circumstances, paid special leave at the discretion and with the prior approval of the headteacher.

Paid absence in other circumstances is entirely at the discretion of the School and will only be granted with the prior approval of the Headteacher. Paid leave should only be considered once all other reasonable options – such as working from home or at another site, making up lost time, taking annual leave have been considered. 

To help plan for managing staff during periods of adverse weather – it may be useful to consider the following questions:

  • Are all your Employee contact details up to date?
  • Are Employees clear about the school’s expectations and when leave may be granted?
  • Have you discussed with your Employees how they should contact the school to advise you of absence arising from bad weather?
  • Where individual Employees are likely to experience particular difficulties attending work– have you discussed contingency arrangements with them in advance?
  • Have you considered any temporary flexible working arrangements that could be appropriate?
  • Have you ensured your school is registered with the Kent School Closure website ( to enable you to post updates about school opening during adverse weather? 

Further Local Authority Winter Planning Guidance for Kent Schools is available on Kelsi:

Please speak to your consultant should you have any queries concerning any aspect of staff management during adverse weather