News / Education / 26th October 2023
School closures – bushfire risk
Bushfire danger policies across NSW public schools have been given a shake up and may result in an increase in school closures over the warmer months.
Both Coonabarabran Public and Coonabarabran High Schools have be classed as Category 2 schools; that is, schools located in areas of light bush or scrub.
Department policy means that during upon a catastrophic bushfire danger period being declared, these schools will be closed.
Schools may also be made non-operational due to changing higher-risk conditions and related advice from emergency services and the State Emergency Operations Centre.
Category 1 schools, meaning schools in areas of heavy bush or forest, will close when a high bushfire danger period is declared.
Some closures have already occurred this year including on Thursday, 12 October 2023, when six schools in the Central West were forced to close after the declaration of extreme bushfire danger.
These schools included the Warrumbungle National Park Environmental Education Centre and Tooraweenah Public School.
Coonabarabran Public School principal, Lucy Evans said she supports the Department of Education in taking measures to ensure the safety of students and staff during bushfire season.
“We recommend that youusetheSchoolStream app and school Facebook page as we will be using these platforms to advise parents that the school is non-operational,” Mrs Evans said.
“We also recommend that you stay up to date with bushfire and grassfire activity by using the Hazards Near Me app and by monitoring local media.”
Mrs Evans clarified that although the bushfire danger rating may see the school close during periods of catastrophic conditions, it did not necessarily mean there would be a bushfire.
“It is merely a proactive measure to ensure the safety of students, staff, and the community,” Mrs Evans said.
Coonabarabran High School principal, Mary Doolan said she also recommended that parents and carers download the School Stream app to stay up to date as bushfire risks change.
On days that the school is made non-operational, Ms Doolan said learning materials would be available via Google Classroom.
Updates on the operational status of the schools will be made after 4pm for the following day.