Emergency school closures

Clarify when your school can close, who makes the decision and what the role of your chair and board is. See examples of emergency school closure procedures from schools.

Last reviewed on 18 May 2023
See updates
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 4082
  1. Your senior executive leader will make the decision
  2. Your chair should be notified
  3. Reasons your school might close
  4. Remote learning
  5. Examples of school policies and procedures

Your senior executive leader will make the decision

Who this will be will depend on your school type. If you're in:

  • A maintained school, this will be your headteacher
  • A single academy trust, this will be your principal/headteacher
  • A multi-academy trust, this will be your CEO and/or academy principals

Check your own emergency closure procedures so you're clear on who'll make the decision for your school. 

How they decide

To decide whether to close the school, your senior executive leader should:

  • Carry out a risk assessment. It will help them make the decision, and they can present the document to governors as evidence of responsible decision making
  • Discuss the situation with your local authority (LA), as it'll be able to advise on the situation of other schools in your local area
  • Check the 'emergency school closures' page of your LA's website, which will list the nearby schools that are closing 

They'll notify your