Should parents let their children go to school under inclement weather conditions?
When inclement weather may affect the safety of students, the Education Bureau (EDB) will keep in close contact with the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO). In the event of tropical cyclones and heavy persistent rain, with reference to the latest information provided by the HKO, the EDB will announce the school suspension arrangements for the corresponding periods via the mass media, the EDB website (http://www.edb.gov.hk/en), the EDB hotline (Tel: 2891 0088) and the GovHK website (http://www.gov.hk/en/theme/govhknotifications/?category=OGCMN052*&lang=en). Parents should pay close attention to the announcements in the above channels to understand the latest arrangements.
Regarding inclement weather conditions, including the issuance of Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 3 or above, Red or Black Rainstorm Warning Signal, and other adverse weather conditions, the EDB has established a communication mechanism with the HKO and issued the Circular to inform schools of the measures to be taken for tropical cyclones or heavy persistent rain. Parents can make reference to the relevant materials including the TV Announcements in the Public Interest (APIs), Rainstorm Warning Posters, Leaflets, Bookmarks and Labels.
The EDB reiterates, when a RED or BLACK Rainstorm Warning Signal has been issued, students should continue the lessons until the end of normal school hours; schools should ensure that conditions are safe before allowing students to return home. Parents do not need to pick up their children from school immediately.
In addition, as the situations in localised area(s) may differ from the territory as a whole, emergencies may also arise unexpectedly. Such situations should be handled in accordance with the individual circumstances in a flexible manner to ensure the safety of students. In this regard, the EDB Circular stipulated that parents can exercise their discretion in deciding whether or not to send their children to school in response to the weather conditions. They should keep their children at home if the local weather, roads, slopes or traffic are in adverse conditions. Schools will exercise discretion in handling the students for lateness for school affected by inclement weather or flooding or absence from school at parents’ discretion on the respective day, and such students will not be penalised accordingly.
Parents may visit the HKO webpage on “Weather Information for Schools” (https://www.hko.gov.hk/en/school/school.htm) or the mobile App “MyObservatory” （https://www.hko.gov.hk/en/myobservatory.htm） for the latest weather conditions.