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?

Euphemia Sun 20-Jan-13 21:35:40

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.

Welcome to my three years on supply, facing that every day!

SparklyAntlersInMyDecorating Sun 20-Jan-13 21:38:28

Yes, it's an Individual Education Plan if a child is statemented for having Special Educational Needs. Also called LDP and any other number of initials, they keep changing it. The problem is, all that is strictly under the remit of the school - confidential information strictly for the child/ family and school staff. Random staff turning up couldn't/ shouldn't be able to access that information, which again could lead to sensitive data being compromised or the child's wellbeing undermined due to their normal learning procedures not being followed.

Bogeyface Sun 20-Jan-13 21:38:42

Euphemia
As a supply teacher do you think that perhaps it is easy to forget that what is being discussed here as unworkable, is your every day? Is it perhaps because workers in any job get so used to the status quo that they cant imagine being able to work any other way?

Absolutely no trying to start a fight, but interested in your view compared to the teachers above saying it isnt a workable solution.

We've had the texts.
My Yr 6 DD school is closed
My Yr8 DS is on late late start/early finish.
He has a 30 minute walk on a good day.
He hasn't got exams, but alot of the pupils do, so the teachers will need to be there to invigilate.

SparklyAntlersInMyDecorating Sun 20-Jan-13 21:41:29

I have done that on supply too Euphemia, was lucky to be given a class list sometimes. Never mind a log on for the interactive whiteboard that was the only thing to write on, or a differentiated cover lesson that wasn't just "design a poster..." Or, heaven forbid, a seating plan detailing who was EAL/ SEN etc. And that was one teacher on one day.

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

It isn't a supply teacher's every day that's being discussed, because a supply teacher has the back up of staff who do know the school and the students. That's what would worry me - the number of unfamiliar faces in the school, and the lack of familiar ones. Some of my students would not respond well to that. At all.

It's not the lack of cover work that would bother me. That I could work with!

Arisbottle Sun 20-Jan-13 21:56:25

TFM if no staff from the primary were able to attend that would be a problem, but is it that likely that absolutely no teachers could attend? In addition people like TAs tend to live locally, and they tend to have very good knowledge of the children.

Cherriesarelovely Sun 20-Jan-13 21:59:21

Headteachers cannot win. I really understand people's frustration with childcare. We have been asked to have a friends child if their school is closed but can only do so if mine and dds schools are closed too! However, there is no way of knowing what tbe roads will be like in the morning and people here get really angry if schools get it wrong.

Cherriesarelovely Sun 20-Jan-13 22:03:02

Randomn staff turning up would be nuts! How could you possibly do CRB checks etc?

SparklyAntlersInMyDecorating Sun 20-Jan-13 22:03:49

A school is a community - caretakers, cleaners, site staff, receptionists, administrators, SMT, SEN staff, do they all head to their nearest school? Legally children have to be catered for. Do the teachers have to cook as well?

This seems to assume that enough of the children can get into these schools that their teachers can't get too ... and then there is a bunch of strangers there waiting for them. Or do any and all teachers and children just head for the nearest school and make something of the day? In both cases, contravening all Child Protection and current data laws held so strictly the rest of the school year.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 20-Jan-13 22:08:37

True, many TAs would probably be able to attend. But whether they would be able to manage the behaviour is another issue.
I know the chaos there is at the start of the day when the major road in our region is running slow. Around 2/3 of our staff use it. Few live in walking distance.

I appreciate that this is not necessarily an issue in all, or indeed most schools. But I really think it would be in mine.

I don't live within walking distance of any school except my DD's primary. Which would be lovely, but also very overstaffed, as there are the giving away of teachers living in my village.

SparklyAntlersInMyDecorating Sun 20-Jan-13 22:09:47

Actually, never mind if a child protection incident happens, and one of the designated Child Protection Officers isn't on site, or first aid and there is no school nurse, or data gets compromised somehow, or FSM children and no catering or safeguarding for them. Just no way. Completely unworkable.

fairylightsandtinsel Sun 20-Jan-13 22:10:44

Supply teachers are a totally different thing from teachers going to their local school on a snow day. (I am talking about secondary by the way). Any supply teacher can go the room next door and ask the regular teacher about anything she / he needs to know. If most of the staff don't know their way around, don't know the lesson timings, don't know the discipline procedures, don't know what resources there are etc it really would be a waste of the majority of their and the pupils' time, and as others have said, teachers have children too, whose schools may be closed and therefore they can't go in either.

Kiriwawa Sun 20-Jan-13 22:11:18

Our school is apparently open which I think is a tad optimistic - we have masses of snow and while most pupils/teachers will be able to walk in, it's forecast to be -2 tomorrow morning at 8am so really not great driving conditions if you live a bit further away.

I know from bitter experience that it's going to talk us about 20 mins to walk to school and we only live 1/4 mile away because the pavements will be impassable and the roads will be sheet ice

Euphemia Sun 20-Jan-13 22:12:26

I'm just surprised by people saying it's unworkable, as it's normal in Scotland. It's not ideal, but it works.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 20-Jan-13 22:13:00

Surely the fact that teachers aren't distributed evenly in where they live, let alone if they have pre-schoolers whose childcare might be unavailable, would make a "just turn up" scheme pretty unworkable - lots if teachers in one place and few in another, maybe.

Bogeyface Sun 20-Jan-13 22:14:52

I am just a little hmm at so many saying it wouldnt work, when it works in Scotland. Presumably they have safeguards in place regarding SEN/Child Protection/Data Protection/First Aid etc.

I just dont see how, if it works North of the border, it cant work in England and Wales.

Bogeyface Sun 20-Jan-13 22:17:42

I would imagine, from what was posted above, a Head can see whether there will be enough staff available to open.

So a teacher who works in Town A but lives in Town B can nominate to go to school B, but school B's head can see that there wont be enough appropriate staff to open safely, so stays closed.

But a teacher living in Town A who works in B and nominates school A could go in because there are enough staff.

ArkadyRose Sun 20-Jan-13 22:18:08

DD2 is a student at the BRIT School in Croydon - which apparently is going to be open, but seeing as she lives in Highams Park and there are no trains running between Chingford & Hackney Downs & all the local buses have been affected, it's going to be nigh impossible for her to get there. The school has said pupils who call before 8:30am will be registered as studying from home though, so she won't get an absence mark if she can't make it in. DD3's school hasn't updated their website since Friday though, so we still don't know if her school is open or not. It's ridiculous though - it doesn't take 5 minutes to log in to the website and put up a notice to staff & pupils, and it wouldn't take much longer than that to update the lglf.org.uk site for London school closures! I suppose we'll get a text in the morning, but I'd far rather be able to make plans tonight.

LivingInAPinkBauble Sun 20-Jan-13 22:20:31

Apparently here in Norfolk at least that used to be the system - you turned up to teach at your local school. Seems this was when heads lived in attached school houses or nearby and would get in to supervise staff.

Wouldn't bother me if that was the case, can walk to 2 schools at least from here. Would rather that than my usual commute which is 35 miles each way and at the moment is taking at least 2 hours each way. My school has not had the snow I have so I have been in even though those round me were shut from Tues onwards not bitter at all!

I too would like to know, will be leaving at 6am tomorrow and there is no way a decision will have been made but if I leave later I will definitely be late. Schools really can't win though.

SparklyAntlersInMyDecorating Sun 20-Jan-13 22:20:59

Euphemia, you mentioned your employer is the Local Authority, not the school, I imagine that might be one reason why it works maybe. It is not always the case in England and Wales - increasingly so in fact. I know that you have a separate curriculum/ education system, so I can't really comment generally.

PeneloPeePitstop Sun 20-Jan-13 22:21:56

Ds1's school is the only primary in town to open. There's black ice out there and have heard of numerous accidents tonight. Not looking forward to attempting that drive (too far to walk, used to live round corner but moved).

cricketballs Sun 20-Jan-13 22:22:47

My head is notorious for not making a decision! Friday for example, the forecast was well know, the vast majority of our students travel on school buses....a bus driver actually told the head on Friday morning that he was turning around with the kids on his bus and taking them home as he knew that the journey would be impossible within a couple of hours. The snow kept falling and falling and he was laughing at the other schools closing so early; by 11am he finally realised that the situation was dangerous for the students and staff and had to contact the parents of those who had made it in.

I for one wish he will make the decision sooner rather than later; that way everyone will be safe, my students will have work emailed to them whilst I sit on my laptop marking the everything they send to me (which I did on Friday afternoon so no slacking for me or my students!)

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 20-Jan-13 22:24:21

On the Welsh news just now one head text parents to ask them to spare an hour to clear the schoolyard today - bring your own snowshovel. We'd have been there like a shot if the head of our kids, school had asked. That said, it's very unlikely that teachers from their school would actually be unable to reach the site where we are.
DS3 s school is likely to be closed because of ice on the yard

Euphemia Sun 20-Jan-13 22:24:45

Exactly, Bogey.

I work in a town much more likely to be severely affected by snow than where I live. There's a very real possibility my school would be closed but the local one open. If I turned up and all the teachers had made it in, the HT would most likely send me away. If some teachers hadn't made it in, I would be put into a class. If fewer teachers turned up than legally required, the school would have to close.

It's a far from perfect system, but at least it attempts to keep as many schools open as possible, which is surely preferable to all schools in the county closing just because a few have had to.

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