A very sensible point of view from Times Educational Blogger Sarah Ebner (and parent) about school closures.
It’s crazy to penalise schools for shutting due to snow
So, the education secretary is ready to “penalise” schools for closing because of the snow. I despair (although I am intrigued to know just what kind of penalties he’s thinking of).
Schools don’t shut for no reason. Headteachers generally try their best to keep their institutions open, especially if children have exams to take. But they need to take decisions in the best interests of staff and pupils – and this includes safety issues.
When you’re in London (as Mr Gove is) you can forget that there is snow (and a lot more of it) across the rest of the country. Most of the schools which were shut yesterday (and many of those closed today) are in the north-east, East Anglia and the Midlands. Is it really wise to open a school in areas like these? In Durham for example, forecasters are expecting another 10cm of snow today. Many in the area are saying that they have no desire to leave their houses.
(please follow link for the rest of Sarah’s article)
Headteachers do not take closing a school lightly, have to make the decision based on the information available at the time, and in good time to inform parents of the decision.
As a parent and teacher I can see all angles. On Friday our son’s rural village school was open, but we received a message that with the forecast worsening we could choose to collect our children in the afternoon if we so desired/needed. On Monday the message was that the school was open from 10.00am, allowing time for staff to get to school and the caretaking staff (one, Mr Pyle) to attempt to clear the paths etc. The school was open, about half of our son’s classmates were able to attend. A school can never win, we are always thankful that we get clear messages.
- Schools must resist closing in snow, Tory MP says (oddonion.com)
- Top News: Schools must resist closing in face of snow, Tory MP says (guardian.co.uk)
- Headteachers ‘too quick to close schools because of snow’ (theweek.co.uk)
- Schools must prepare better for snow, says education chairman (telegraph.co.uk)
- Schools must prepare better for snow, says education chairman, as 800 close today (telegraph.co.uk)