To wish the head would decide tonight?!

(182 Posts)
PenguinBear Sun 20-Jan-13 19:11:06

Our head doesn't like to close (fair enough) so staff are
expected to be in as normal unless he has a change of heart in the morning. All the other local schools are shut. 2 of us live in the same village so we are travelling in together at 7am as we think it could take a long time to get there, even though we've been told by colleagues in the place where we work that roads are dreadful!

So the DC will also be in, although would rather not put them in the car if we could avoid!

It has snowed continually throughout the day and there are no signs of it stoping any time soon. AIBU To want the head to decide tonight rather than wait till 7am?

marriedinwhite Sun 20-Jan-13 20:52:41

We are waiting for three. DD's will make a decision at 6.30am. Hers is the only one with anything definitive and the least likely to open. I brought work home on Friday.

SuffolkNWhat Sun 20-Jan-13 20:53:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bogeyface Sun 20-Jan-13 20:56:26

the likely hood that there won't be deliveries for school dinners.

I hadnt thought of that being an issue. Would that mean they would close if there were children in receipt of FSM or could they ask children to bring a packed lunch?

fairylightsandtinsel Sun 20-Jan-13 20:59:31

The turning up to the nearest school idea is completely unworkable for any purposes other than babysitting. For all the eminently practical reasons outlined by other posters it would be dodgy from a legal perspective and could not possibly result in any teaching worth a damn being done. As for knowing the night before about closures, given the way that snow here tends to be fairly borderline in terms of how bad it is or how it affects the roads, they really do have to wait til the morning. Conditions can change hourly. I teach in an extremely affluent area that very few of the staff can afford to live anywhere near, my commute is nearly an hour on a good day. And if I do have a "day off" tomorrow, I shall be attempting to mark 60 books whilst looking after a 3 and 1 year old. (Books I will otherwise be marking in the evening).

Arisbottle Sun 20-Jan-13 21:01:18

suffolk I took my youngest two to school with me on Friday as I was one of the few members of staff who could walk in. They coped, both the school and my children.

I know it is not legal currently but there is no reason why the law can't be changed and that we cannot create a list of emergency cover staff. This could all be arranged in advance and therefore if there is snow in the local area meaning that schools would usually close, the members of staff contact the head of the primary and if there are enough members of staff it could open.

As I said earlier I suspect this would just work for primary children who tend to live within walking distance.

My youngest two children can almost roll out of bed and into school. Instead of going to their usual school ( which had quite few members of staff living within walking distance and certainly enough staff in walking distance if you include those who would usually teach at the secondary) they walked for two miles through deep snow to attend my school! We then all walked back around lunchtime and I sat in my house a few metres away from the closed primary school. In fact I actually hosted about an extra 10 children in my house so that there parents could at least go to work for a few hours!

Yes I know most of us took work home but that was extra time that we should not expect. If I spent the day at my local primary I would not be creating the marking workload that I would do if I were teaching my own classes, so I still have gained time. Everyone is happy.

Arisbottle Sun 20-Jan-13 21:02:56

But even if I were only babysitting, and I think to be honest that I could do more than that, what is the harm in that, if it allows parents to go to work. It would create goodwill, the goodwill that teachers need.

School is not childcare but we are being naive if we think it does not play that role.

Arisbottle Sun 20-Jan-13 21:04:40

In my department we have simple activities on each scheme of work that a cover teacher can do. They are planned in advance so that ill teachers are not planning cover work and that overworked heads of department are not running around like headless chickens trying to set work.

There is no reason why each primary school cannot have emergency work for such events, it could be planned with secondary staff in mind.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 20-Jan-13 21:05:10

The head at my school has said that we will be open, but the weather report is still for snow and (for the UK) extreme temperatures, linked to that a huge amount of staff travel 30+ miles in so it is by no means certain that we will be open.

So the best that the head can do is that we will try to be open but keep an eye on the usual comms.

Re walking to other schools, my nearest school is a primary and I am not rained for primary, as for the nearest secondary given the turn over of teachers it wouldn't be worth the hassle.

Bogeyface Sun 20-Jan-13 21:07:54

The idea that a teacher from a different school couldnt work in their local school is surely rubbish though? Supply teachers manage to cover illness etc at an hours notice. Ok so its not ideal but better than the current system where a country full of teachers who can get to a school cant work because it is not their school, so both schools close.

Euphemia Sun 20-Jan-13 21:08:23

It's completely standard in Scotland to report to your local school if yours is shut. Our employer is the local authority, not the school, so no problem with PVG (CRB) checks.

Euphemia Sun 20-Jan-13 21:12:36

I expect it's different in secondary, but at primary level going to a different school would be just like when I was a supply teacher and no work had been left - I can find out from the children what they have been learning, where resources are, etc., and otherwise I have enough experience to ensure meaningful learning goes on.

Arisbottle Sun 20-Jan-13 21:12:43

But Boney you are covering or a few days at most, a secondary trained teacher is better than no teacher. A bogey says supply teachers and cover assistants do it most days.

SparklyAntlersInMyDecorating Sun 20-Jan-13 21:17:55

Bogeyface - that is one supply teacher to one school - they will be given a pack and a log on and a briefing. Their CRB covers them through the agency.

Hundreds of teachers up and down the country going into random schools? Again, who co-ordinates that in the amount of time needed in a morning to ensure there is enough time to make a safe decision? What if SMT can't get to their school? Do you just have a random head turn up and assume control for the day? Even within one district there are schools that not part of the LEA, pupils that live ages away from their school anyway. Do they just go to the nearest school? Primary schools with a whole group of strange teachers?

I would rather use my unexpected gained time professionally by completing work for my students, than 'babysitting' others in a way that goes against all Child Protection safety guidelines.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 20-Jan-13 21:21:14

Arisbottle and Bogey

Having thought about this again in a slightly more productive manner, its not going into another school that would bother me. As you have both said a teacher is better than no teacher.

My main worry would be the quality of the cover work, If it could be of a guaranteed quality the day/s should run without (much) of a hitch.
(there are only so many posters that you can get a class to draw)

marriedinwhite Sun 20-Jan-13 21:21:52

Interesting isn't it. I am 52. I went to school from 1965 - 1978. I never, ever remember school closing because of the snow. For both primary and secondary I had a 15 minute walk to the station, a 15 and 20 minute train journey respectively and a bus ride (school bus) 5-10 minutes and a 15 walk respectively.

I also remember in the early to mid 80's waking up to a blanket of snow and blizzard and jumping out of bed and dashing out without breakfast because I knew there would be no tubes beyond Putney Bridge and that I would have to walk 20-25 minutes to the station rather than 5-10. 30 years ago I would have been in bad odour had I not made very effort to get to work on time let alone to work at all.

My grandparents were farmers and horsebreeders - they had to look after the animals whatever the weather.

Having said all that I was delighted when my office closed at midday on Friday. I went to the supermarket and got all my Saturday morning jobs done. The DC were home by 2ish too (14 and 18) but it didn't stop ds going across London for a party on Friday night grin.

landofsoapandglory Sun 20-Jan-13 21:21:53

We live in a rural area, and the catchment area for DS2's school is very rural. It is absolutely chucking it down with snow, you can not differentiate between the roads and pavements. We had a snow plough come down the road about 2hours ago and we have had at least 4 or 5 cm fall since then! I can not for one minute imagine the school buses will get through, but the HT will keep us hanging until the last minute.

In the past she has said all Yr11's have to go in. If she says that I am not taking DS2, he doesn't have an exam, I will have to take him, I am disabled and it is a risk I am not prepared to take.

DS1 has an AS resit tomorrow(because he missed an A by one mark first time round) so DH is taking him in and I will pick him up. We have had an email to say if lessons don't go ahead exams will because a few teachers live within walking distance so have no problem getting there for them.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 20-Jan-13 21:22:48

There would also have to be a register of which teachers went to which school.
You couldn't just have teachers randomly arriving.

Bogeyface Sun 20-Jan-13 21:23:02

Ok, fair enough, I just wondered.

I personally dont see the babysitting as such a bad thing but then I am not a teacher!

Any idea on my Q about school dinners btw? Just curious.

And what is SMT? Senior Management Teacher? Whats wrong with Head?!

Euphemia Sun 20-Jan-13 21:26:34

There would also have to be a register of which teachers went to which school. You couldn't just have teachers randomly arriving.

There is - we nominate a school in agreement with our HT and the master list is held by the local authority. Head teachers can see who has nominated their school.

Euphemia Sun 20-Jan-13 21:27:59

Bogey SMT (Senior Management Team) covers HT, DHT, Principal Teachers, any senior teaching staff.

Bogeyface Sun 20-Jan-13 21:31:25

Thank you. I prefer the old days, less officey! We had to say "Yes Headmaster" "No Deputy Headmistress", but then I started there when the grammar had not long closed and the Head in particular seemed to really resent being Head of a comp, he always wore his Snape style batwings!

stormforce10 Sun 20-Jan-13 21:31:46

LOL just received a text message and email saying school will be closed swiftly followed by an email with attachments from DD's teacher asking her to complete the enclosed maths and comprehension exercises and also learn a list of spellings. Any difficulties please can dd email her for help\?

Apparantly there will be more work to follow on Tuesday if school still closed - oh and could she practice her 2 and 3 times table as there's a test later this week?

She is going to be very unimpressed even though I doubt there's more than 30-40 minutes work there - can't fault teacher for her efficiency bet she wrote it all up earlier and stuck it in drafts ready to send if school closed

SparklyAntlersInMyDecorating Sun 20-Jan-13 21:32:46

Sorry, education lingo! SMT - is the Senior Management Team - or SLT - leadership. I work in secondary and that is the name given to the Head, Deputy/ Assistant Heads etc.

I don't know about school meals - I suppose that opens up further questions. Do kitchen staff go to their nearest schools? Receptionists? Caretakers (all the keys?!), SEN staff, Teaching assistants? It's that that I think concerns me most about the 'babysitting' idea. If there are children in my classroom who have an IEP at this random school I have turned up at, I won't know their needs, if they need a TA, extra resources, if they need strict routine, medication etc. Most children would be fine, it would be very stressful for teachers and those children in those circumstances.

Bogeyface Sun 20-Jan-13 21:34:06

IEP?

......I could never be a teacher!

Individual Education Program possibly? Is that the same as a Statement?

MerryCouthyMows Sun 20-Jan-13 21:34:21

I'd be happy if it WAS 7am that my school made a decision. They tend not to announce a decision on the radio until 8.15am.

Which is a fat lot of good when I have to leave at 8am.

So, I have taken to makings decision myself, based on whether the public buses I need to use to get them there are running.

If there isn't at least 4 of the eight buses an hour we are meant to get between 6.45am and 7.45am, then we don't go.

School have accepted that I make a sensible decision based on transport issues caused by various disabilities.

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