Weather Rules

EXTRACT FROM EDUCATION BUREAU CIRCULAR
NO. 3/2007
(Formerly referred to as EMB Circular No. 3/2007)

Tropical Cyclones and Heavy Persistent Rain
Arrangements for Kindergartens and Day Schools

  1. in the event of tropical cyclones and heavy persistent rain; and
  2. upon change of weather conditions at the time of public examinations.

Special attention is drawn to the different arrangements in case of tropical cyclones and heavy persistent rain. The development of tropical cyclones is progressive and the effects are more lasting. With the announcement of suspension of schools in case of tropical cyclones, schools should arrange students to return home under safe conditions. For heavy persistent rain, however, adverse situation could develop quickly and dissipate quickly. Therefore, schools should continue their lessons when red/black rainstorm signal is issued during lesson time and should not send students home immediately. (Please refer to paragraphs 5 and 7 below for detailed arrangements.)

Tropical Cyclones

Schools should listen to radio or television announcements when tropical cyclones affect Hong Kong.

The following general arrangements will apply and appropriate public announcements will be made:

  • Weather condition Action to be taken When Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 1 is issued
  • All schools, including kindergartens, are to operate as usual.
  • When Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 3 is issued *
  • All kindergartens, schools for physically handicapped children and schools for mentally handicapped children are to close. Other schools are to operate as usual unless advised otherwise.
  • When Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal Pre-No. 8 / No. 8 or above is issued *
  • All schools are to close.
  • When Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 8 or above is replaced by Signal No. 3
  • All kindergartens, schools for physically handicapped children and schools for mentally handicapped children are to remain closed. Other schools are to resume with the next session unless road or other conditions remain adverse.
  • When Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 3 is replaced by Signal No.1 or when all signals are cancelled
  • All schools are to resume with the next session.

If students have already set out for school when the No. 3 signal is issued, kindergartens, schools for physically handicapped children and schools for mentally handicapped children should activate the contingency plan to ensure that school premises will be open and staffed until proper arrangements are made for arriving students to return home at an appropriate time. The same applies to all schools if the Pre-No. 8 / No. 8 signal is issued when students have already set out for school.

Heavy Persistent Rain

Schools should listen to radio or television announcements regularly during rainstorms. For more detailed information regarding rainfall distribution, schools may visit the webpage of the Hong Kong Observatory at the following URL: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/rainfall/isohyete.shtml

In the event of rainstorms, the following general arrangements will apply and appropriate public announcements will be made:
Rainstorm Warning Signal Action to be taken

AMBER

Unless the Education and Manpower Bureau has made special announcement on closure of schools, all schools, including kindergartens, will operate as usual.

RED or BLACK

  1. Before 6:15 a.m.
    AM and Whole-day schools will be closed all day.
  2. 6:15 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
    • There will be no lessons for all AM and Whole-day schools.
    • Schools should ensure that their premises are open until the end of the normal school hours and arrange staff to look after those students who have left home for school. They should also ensure that conditions are safe before allowing students to return home.
    • Students who have not left for school should stay home.
  3. 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
    AM and Whole-day schools should continue the lessons until the end of the normal school hours and should ensure that conditions are safe before allowing students to return home.
  4. 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
    • PM schools will be closed.
    • AM and Whole-day schools should continue the lessons until the end of the normal school hours and should ensure that conditions are safe before allowing students to return home.
  5. 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    • There will be no lessons for PM schools.
    • PM schools should ensure that their premises are open until the end of the normal school hours and arrange staff to look after those students who have left home for school. They should also ensure that conditions are safe before allowing students to return home.
    • Students of PM schools who have not yet left for school should stay home.
    • AM and Whole-day schools should continue the lessons until the end of the normal school hours and should ensure that conditions are safe before allowing students to return home.
  6. After 1:00 p.m.
    All schools should continue the lessons until the end of the normal school hours and should ensure that conditions are safe before allowing students to return home.

Emergency Duty Team

  1. When Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 3 or the AMBER rainstorm signal is issued on a school day, the EMB will activate an Emergency Duty Team in the headquarters to collect updated information on weather, road, slope, traffic and transport conditions from 5:45 a.m. It will arrange for radio and television announcements on closure of schools or cancellation of activities. The team will be ready to assist any school wishing to make an announcement. Schools using the service should fax the announcement (sample at the Appendix) to the Emergency Duty Team and then follow up by telephone. (Fax no.: 2575 7050 – Telephone no.: 2892 6193-96 (4 lines)
  2. Upon receipt of the announcement, the Emergency Duty Team will fax the announcement to the electronic media. However, it will be at the discretion of TV/radio stations whether to broadcast the announcement. Closure of Schools and Launching of New Webpage .
  3. If schools are in session and the weather is likely to deteriorate rapidly due to approaching typhoon or special circumstances, the EMB will announce over radio and television to advise immediate suspension of classes. (Please refer to paragraphs 5 and 7 above.)
  4. In exceptional circumstances, the EMB may announce the closure of schools in only one or just a few districts. In that case, students whose schools are in that/those district(s) as well as students who are living in that/those districts should not go to school. School heads should therefore ensure that their staff, parents and students know the district at which their schools are located and the district in which they live. This should be checked at the beginning of each school year. School heads should re-assure parents that allowance will be given to the affected students for lateness or absence from school at their discretion on the day when inclement weather or flooding occurs.
  5. For more information regarding the regional weather, schools may visit website of the Hong Kong Observatory at the following URL: http://www.weather.gov.hk/school/main.shtml

School heads may exercise their discretion on closure of schools should local weather, road, slope, traffic or transport conditions warrant the closure of a school and a general announcement has not been made by the EMB, or giving allowance to affected students for being late or absent from school due to inclement weather.

Parents should be advised that they should exercise their discretion in deciding whether or not to send their children to school at the time of inclement weather. They should keep their children at home if they consider that local weather, road, slope, traffic or transport conditions at that time are still not completely normal.