Both schools and nursery fucking closed because of 2 inches of fucking snow!

(72 Posts)
SickOfBeingSoScared Wed 05-Dec-12 10:49:50

EXCUSE MY LANGUAGE. I am ranting!!

Neither school informed parents until after 8.15am when I had already left home early to get there on time. Therefore I wasted over an hour and a half as the traffic was ridiculous, we are talking moving at 3mph ffs. What is wrong with people that they cannot drive in a bit of slush!??

It snowed between 5.00 and 6.00am (I was up with DS3 watching it [anger]) not icy just slush. Has not snowed since and it immediately started thawing. The school no more than half a mile away from the DSs is open as usual hmm.

Been told by DS3's nursery which he attends 3 afternoons a week and which I scrape the money together for, that they are only open to 'working parents' as they don't have enough staff and parents who get the funded hours or who are not going to work cannot take their DC in but I still have to pay for the session anyway! They can fuck right off! Again the nursery less than a mile away from that one is fully open!

AIBU to think the staff probably can't be arsed to go in and I should not have to pay for that?

Really fuming as I had an important appointment this afternoon which I now have to cancel!!

The t&c are more likely to refer to the nursery closing, not eing short staffed and picking which children they take.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 06-Dec-12 08:27:13

OP - I would be furious about the nursery issue. They cannot possibly get away with charging you under those circumstances.

Rooney I was about to come and say what moonstorm said about winter tyres. We have them for my car, and while I agree that it is an upfront cost to put 4 new tyres on the car - once you have bought them then they just get replaced as summer tyres do so they don't go on being more expensive IYSWIM?
We are in the SE and have been stuck at home before now when it has been snowy, and DH unable to get to work. He is freelance now so we can't afford for him to be stranded at home not getting paid!

Selky Thu 06-Dec-12 08:34:29

My nursery decided to close for the day for the Golden Jubiliee and refused to refund us for the day. That was 2 years ago and I'm still furious!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 06-Dec-12 08:36:39

But breathe, if they have insufficient staff to open fully, then if they weren't able to only take some not all children, they would be closed altogether and would charge anyway. I don't see how I'm worse off in that situation.

ChristmasIsForPlutocrats Thu 06-Dec-12 08:38:48

When DS was at nursery and I was a SAHM, I was bloody grateful if nursery cover fell on snowy days, as it was too flipping cold for DS at home!

babybythesea Thu 06-Dec-12 08:46:00

"What I don't really understand is why schools and nurseries close when it snows, but all the offices, shops, restauants and factories manage to stay open. Everyone else manages to get to work somehow but not teachers or nursery assistants."

If you work in an office and have a difficult journey, it doesn't matter so much if you make it in late. The work will wait. On the other hand, if teachers live a way from school and are late arriving (and certainly at my sister's school only one teacher lives locally to the school), while all the pupils live nearby and get in on time, what are the kids supposed to do? Several hundred pupils sit quietly and wiat under the supervision of one or two adults while the rest of the staff turn up as and when they can? It's not safe or legal! Certainly in other situations I've worked in, if someone can't get there on time, you muddle on until they do show up. It's not always possible to do that in a school. If it's just one teacher, fine. What if it's the bulk of the staff?

My sister, a reception teacher, lives a fair way from her school in a rural area (no gritters, small country roads). When there was bad snow (last year? year before? memory is going!) her village was thick with it - the neighbouring village had farmers on tractors bringing them supplies for three days as the roads were completely impassable. She set off at 6.00am (normally it's a 45 minute journey) and at 8.00 was not yet half way there when she got a phone call saying school was shut - like her, the majority of the teachers were struggling to make it in. There was next to no snow in that town and parents were cross, saying the kids could go in and the staff could turn up when they managed it. Right. So which parents are volunteering to stay and organise the children while teachers like my sister turn up at 10.00/10.30? While my sister's neighbour, who worked in the same town, decided having travelled for a couple of hours she might as well keep going and arrived at work at 11.00 so despite the late start she did a 'day at work'.

In contrast, when I was at primary school, most of my teachers lived in the same town and could walk, just like the pupils, so we very rarely closed.

LaQueen Thu 06-Dec-12 09:44:33

YANBU...it's pathetic, 5 snowflakes fall on the playground and it's 'Whoopee...let's send the kids home' angry

Luckily, our DD's school rarely, if ever, closes, due to snow/ice. And, it's in a small village, quitew remote, at the end of a very long country lane that is notorious for icing up. But the HT is old-school, and doesn't think little things like weather should stop a child getting an education, thank goodness smile

Two years ago, when there'd been quite a bit of snow, a few inches, we were informed by email that morning - that the school would be open as normal, but a couple of teachers couldn't make it in (literally, they lived a long way out in the sticks) so there wouldn't be formal lessons, as such. Children were also asked to bring wellies and wrap up extra warm.

We dropped our DDs off, as normal, and they had a great day, lots of reading/drawing and 2 extended playtimes where the whole school built snowmen smile

However, at the same time...the school in our village was closed for 2 days...despite being in the centre of a large busy, well serviced village which is only 500 yards from an A-road...and despite the vast majority of the teaching staff actually living in the village...or in the nearest martket town which has easy access via the A road (which was gritted and cleared of snow).

LaQueen Thu 06-Dec-12 09:46:26

Oh, and on that day I described above...the teachers at our DD's school just got up extra early to ensure they got to school on time ...because they're quite sensible like that.

ceeveebee Thu 06-Dec-12 09:55:42

I get the ratio issue for nursery but not so much for schools.

Don't schools have contingency plans? Surely there must be at least some staff who can make it in, so on snow days can't the pupils all sit in the assembly hall supervised by those teachers/assistants that can be there, with some kind of activity that could be planned in advance for use on those days, and then formal lessons start late?

5madthings Thu 06-Dec-12 09:56:52

laqueen my boys primary is the same, snow doesnt stop school and they all had a great time building snowmen etc.

Sorry but two onches that has already melted and everything shuts down, it IS CRAP!!!

And the nursery are being massively unreasonable, tbh if they have attitude like that and tried to insist on payment i woulf be looking for an alternative childcare provider. Just because a parent isnt in paid employment doesnt mean they dont have a valid reason for needing childcare, tbh if you are paying you dont need any reason at all!

LaQueen Thu 06-Dec-12 17:26:19

5mad I absolutely adore our HT, she is so incredibly sensible and practical and no nonsense.

She fully understands the chaos/stress it would cause to parents, especially the working ones, if she closed the school. So, she bends over backwards to ensure that it never closes.

If they can only muster a skeleton staff, then the children are supervised in the hall, or get extended break times, building snowmen smile

LaQueen Thu 06-Dec-12 17:29:07

It's the same with DH's staff.

When we've had snow in the past, DH has always managed to make it into the office. Eventhough we live 17 miles away, in a very rural area with few gritters about.

And yet...and yet...several of his staff someohow fail make it into work, despite living within the city limits, only a short walk from the gritted and snow-clear tram/bus routes... hmm

laptopdancer Thu 06-Dec-12 17:35:24

Any tips or driving in the snow/ice in an auto?

Enfyshedd Thu 06-Dec-12 18:35:44

babybythesea - "If you work in an office and have a difficult journey, it doesn't matter so much if you make it in late. The work will wait."

Not necessarily. I work for an investment company and if we don't complete all the deals received that morning by the cut off point (after 7 months of maternity leave, I can't quite remember if it's 11am or 12noon), we're in deep doo-doo. I think it's reportable to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and counts against our fitness to practise. Also if we don't have enough experienced staff in and we have complaints to deal with that could normally be dealt with by the end of the day after they're received, they would become reportable complaints which are also recorded by the FSA. I remember several years ago when our office had to close for a couple of days when the air conditioning broke down over night in the middle of a very hot summer - all staff with medical conditions that could be aggrivated by the heat were sent home almost as soon as they arrived. I was amongst the last to leave the office at 11.30am because I had to wait for contract files to arrive and mail them out that day - also a time sensitive process. We ended up having to invoke the disaster recovery process so selected members of staff were bussed to another location 60 miles away the next day for the work to be completed while the repair work was done.

Wellthen Thu 06-Dec-12 19:22:09

The amount of snow has nothing to do with anything. If it hasnt been gritted, has rain recently after snowing or there has been an accident it will be terrible.

They will try to stay open at all costs. Something specific will have caused them to close - NOT a whim. It is equally inconvinient for people not getting paid, teachers who will now not be able to fit everything in this week they wanted to etc etc.

jamdonut Thu 06-Dec-12 21:34:30

Most of the TA's usually make it into our school,when it snows, because we are local. Most of the teachers live 10-30 miles away. In my experience, parents don't bother bringing kids to school when there has been significant snowfall,because for a lot of push-chair-ing mums it is just about impossibleto get through the snow.

Its not just the getting to school,though, is it? Its the getting home again. Teachers have families too! We live in an area with no nearby motorways or dual carriageways/ringroads. There is a lot of moorland and wolds surrounding our seaside town. If it is heavy snow, the roads become impassable with drifting snow. Last year some teachers(who car share) set off from school a little early (about 2.45pm),when we had very heavy snow falling. They didn't get home (20 miles away) till getting on for 9pm.

CelineMcBean Thu 06-Dec-12 23:57:23

When I was a child and it snowed teachers would go to the nearest school if they couldn't get to their usual place of work. I can remember my own mother taking a class in my school because she couldn't get out of the valley where we lived and nobody could get in.

We had an air drop if essential supplies to the village from a helicopter shock but the school still opened although some of the class rooms were shut due to heating problems and parents had the option of collecting dc early at lunch time. The canteen became a classroom and we doubled up and split classes found the remaining classrooms and had a great time in the snow. We went to school on sledges! This was in south east, not the wilds of Scotland so snow doesn't fall every year.

These days I doubt LAs would be able to cope with unknown teachers going to unknown schools and we're all a but more wimpy about snow. I had someone who couldn't walk 4 streets to her nearest office to get to work even though other people made it in from much further out and worse conditions. She didn't get paid.

SickOfBeingSoScared Wed 19-Dec-12 12:18:27

As an update, the nursery are still insisting that I am charged for this day and I have paid for it. They are very unhappy that I am questioning it.

Apparently their T&C's (which they did not give me a copy of which DC started, I had to ask for one) state that if the nursery has to CLOSE in an emergency we still have to pay, which is fair enough but the nursery was not CLOSED it was open but only to working parents (and I pay the same as them) and I did actually have 'work' to do. I have no idea of how many staff got in or how many DCs turned up.

They have since stuck a big sign up saying that if there is further adverse weather conditions (which there probably will be) that they will prioritise DCs of working parents again and will still charge - this sign was not up before the day in question.

I am still very angry about this. Fair enough if they want to only admit working parents but in that case do not charge the parents of children you are refusing to admit! AIBU still? and how can I word a letter - brain is fried at the moment!

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 19-Dec-12 12:30:56

SickOfBeingSoScared

If you have a DH/DP perhaps HE is a working parent?!

Or is what they're saying is SAHM get stuffed.

I am a working mum and I agree their policy is rubbish. If you're paying the same amount, you get the same treatment. I am assuming that YOU have no flexibility which days you choose. If you do and you could use another day in place of that, then I can see their point. But I very much doubt this is the case.

I would be taking it further.

ChristmasIsForPlutocrats Wed 19-Dec-12 20:46:33

Start talking to other SAH parents.

natation Wed 19-Dec-12 21:10:15

I can't agree more, it's really a poor excuse to close schools in slightly more difficult weather conditions. We're in Belgium, we have as much snow as the north of England get in Winter and it's actually a bit colder here. It would take complete failure of a school's heating system for a local school to close here, it's more than possible for a child to go through all 16 years of school here without their school ever closing due to bad weather. Teachers set off earlier to get to school, classes double up, people with common sense have Winter tyres here, even if they're only needed in reality for a few weeks in the Winter.

In contrast, some of the big international schools in Brussels closed 2 weeks ago for the day, in the end very little snow, it shows the difference is nothing to do with the weather when making the decision to close schools, it's to do with not wanting to take any risks at all.

SickOf, for wording of your complaint, how about:

Dear xx,

Today, despite the nursery being open, I was informed that, due to 'weather conditions' not only would my son not be admitted to his scheduled session, but that the session would be charged for anyway. When I questioned this, I was referred back to the terms and conditions (t&c's) of my contract with [nursery name].

The t&c's state that where [nursery name] closes for reasons beyond its control (which could reasonably be assumed to include adverse weather conditions), payment is expected. This is something I was aware of, and have no problem with adhering to, should such a case arise. There is no reference within the t&c's that allows [nursery name] to charge for non-delivery of service when the nursery is open.

Given the above, I will therefore not be paying for the afternoon session of Wednesday, 19th of December, or for any other sessions where [nursery name] is open, but is refusing to admit my son.

Should you wish to discuss this further, please do so in writing.

Regards,

SickOfBeingSoScared

Needs a bit of editing, but will hopefully help the thought processes along

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