Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

to wonder why the school needed to send a text warning us that they'd let us know about school being open or shut tomorrow...

(94 Posts)
MrsMushroom Thu 17-Jan-13 20:19:31

because of the snow...when it's only dropped about three flakes?

The text was sent out this morning at 9.30am and there hadn't been ANY snow in the area (cheshire) can they warn us about the school closing when we've only had a sprinkle?

Ok it may get heavier....but that's a big MAY isn't it? Am I bu to think they might wait till morning and then decide?

MardyBraWouldDoEddieRedmayne Thu 17-Jan-13 20:20:54

YABU. Snow is forecast. Our school sent us a text to tell us to check the local authority website in the morning. Fair enough.

Well, it's so you can arrange childcare if needed.
Otherwise people will be shouting "how can they close the school and not give us any notice? How are we supposed to go to work?"

Sensible to warn us isn't it?

It's only a text.

weblette Thu 17-Jan-13 20:22:08

Agree with Mardy, if you look at the Met Office website tomorrow is going to be pretty snowy in a lot of places.

Veritate Thu 17-Jan-13 20:22:21

Seems to me to be reasonable. A lot of snow is forecast, they're alerting parents reasonably well in advance so they can began making arrangements at least provisionally. They're not saying they will definitely close. Why is it a problem?

CloudsAndTrees Thu 17-Jan-13 20:22:38

Agree with Tantrums. It's so that you can't complain that you had no notice that they might close if you will need to arrange childcare.

goldiehorn Thu 17-Jan-13 20:23:13

I dont get the problem with this at all?!

mum11970 Thu 17-Jan-13 20:24:28

I'm on the north Wales coast and haven't even had a sprinkle yet but the youngest was sent home with a note yesterday about snow procedures. I'll be bloomin surprised if we have any snow in the morning.

Ambrosiacreamedrice Thu 17-Jan-13 20:24:31

If they don't tell you that they will let you know, the office will be inundated with phone calls tomorrow morning. We found this out the hard way as our school answer phone had a message that starts 'The school is now closed' until 7:30 when admin get in, and lots of parents took that to mean we were closed all day because of the snow.

Euphemia Thu 17-Jan-13 20:24:50

Bloody hell, schools can't do right for doing wrong, can they?

Snow is forecast. Forecasters find it impossible to tell exactly where snow will fall when, and how much.

The school is letting you know how they will communicate with you and when, in the event of closure.


Ragwort Thu 17-Jan-13 20:26:49

Only a text ........... we got two letters in the post (both saying exactly the same thing) stating that the school might be closed and to check the website confused - why do school budgets allow for two letters, to the same postal address - we only have one child grin. There are over 1500 pupils at the school - do the math !!!!

TandB Thu 17-Jan-13 20:27:11

Um, so that when it snows massively tonight as it is forecast to do everyone will know that the school will make an announcement and can wait for that announcement.

TheDailyWail Thu 17-Jan-13 20:27:23

Maybe they are trying to tell you where to find the info should they need to close? To avoid dealing with an influx of calls ?

amistillsexy Thu 17-Jan-13 20:27:58

They were probably innundated with phone calls and had people queuing up at the office to ask what was going to happen if it snows tomorrow.

I imagine they were simply responding to parents' requests for information.

meditrina Thu 17-Jan-13 20:28:57

We've had a message telling us at what time the open/closed message will be texted to all parents and posted on the website.

I thought this was to avoid the school being inundated with phone calls.

Hulababy Thu 17-Jan-13 20:29:40

But they are making the decision tomorrow morning arent they? That's what the text said yes?

They are just trying to preempt parents calling in in the morning to ask. Parents now know to look out for a text.

Foggles Thu 17-Jan-13 20:29:44

I'm in Manchester and we got a warning about the snow saying it's likely to be heavier towards Cheshire/Merseyside.

I don't see any problem in them sending you a message.

greenpostit Thu 17-Jan-13 20:30:19

Yabu. Wish our school had made arrangements like yours. I don't know how I'll find out whether it is closed. Text would be great!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 17-Jan-13 20:31:44

Sounds like a very sensible move to me.

Why wouldn't you want to know where to get information regarding the schools ability to open if you do have snow?

Our school have done the same and I'm impressed tbh.


marriedinwhite Thu 17-Jan-13 20:32:35

Because some parents might go to work and need to alert their employers in advance, legitimately, that they might not be able to come to work.

wonkylegs Thu 17-Jan-13 20:37:36

Ha our local high school website has a banner message saying it will not close even if we get more snow.
DS s First school has shut a steep path as the snow and ice has made it treacherous but again won't be closing due to snow. DS is disappointed as he wanted to play out in the snow (I don't it's too blimmin freezing it hasn't eeked above minus temps today)

hugoagogo Thu 17-Jan-13 20:39:36

Yabu Is this unanimous?

This is so you don't have to ring and check tomorrow, safe in the knowledge they will text you if school is closed. Win win no?

apostropheuse Thu 17-Jan-13 20:42:43

I think by now you're probably aware that YABU.

It's just a different way of saying

Don't phone us, we'll phone you!`

It seems eminently sensible to me.

MrsMushroom Thu 17-Jan-13 20:48:57

I don't see why some snow means school may close. The text said "We will let you know by text if school is closed."

I mean what?? It's snow....not frigging napalm.

Veritate Thu 17-Jan-13 20:52:23

Because some of the teachers may not be able to get in if conditions are really bad. If there are too few teachers, they can't open.

hugoagogo Thu 17-Jan-13 20:57:12

Have you just moved here?

It is normal for heavy snow to cause school closures in this country. (not saying it's right mind you)

apostropheuse Thu 17-Jan-13 20:58:08

Staff may not be able to physically get to school. Also, if the snow is as heavy as currently being predicted then the roads may be very unsafe to drive on. It may be that the Police advise the public not to drive if possible.

I know these are all "maybes" but the school are also saying "if" so they are just being cautious.

Snow sometimes means school closures. It's just a fact of life we have to live with.

FeltOverlooked Thu 17-Jan-13 20:59:47

I know how I will find out if my child's school will close. The school I work in has said nothing to anyone including me!

Euphemia Thu 17-Jan-13 21:02:06

My school is 40 minutes drive away on a good day. It's in an area prone to bad weather. I would not be able to get there in bad snow. I would then report to my local school, and help to keep it open. Other teachers who live near my school would help to keep that school open by doing the same.

Euphemia Thu 17-Jan-13 21:03:53

Our council has a website dedicated to severe weather information for schools and a Twitter feed. Our local radio station broadcasts the same information.

Veritate Thu 17-Jan-13 21:05:09

Euphemia, schools don't just take on people who turn up claiming to be teachers who can't get to the school where they're employed. There are massive child protection issues, apart from anything else. Nor would they open speculatively in the hope that said teachers might turn up.

MrsEricBana Thu 17-Jan-13 21:05:26

We had an email an hour ago saying the school will be shut tomorrow (Somerset) despite not one flake having fallen yet, owing to the forecast. I am quite shocked although at least people know where they stand I suppose.

bigbluebus Thu 17-Jan-13 21:06:47

DS's Secondary school also sent out a text to that effect at 9.00 this morning. It is merely reminding people to tune in to local radio in the morning or log on to the LA website and check the school closure announcements.
DDs SEN school has already made the decision to close and sent letters home in school bags tonight. She will not be going in tomorrow even if the sun is cracking the flags! (and that has happened once before).
In spite of DDs school saying that they have consulted with the powers that be, the LA's snowline webpage which lists school closures has not been updated to reflect the fact that the school is closed!!!

Euphemia Thu 17-Jan-13 21:06:58

I don't know about where you live, Veritate, but that's the system here. We have staff cards to prove who we are.

lougle Thu 17-Jan-13 21:07:18

It's completely standard.

DD1's special school sent a text message on Tuesday to warn us that they may have to call us on Friday to collect our children. Her bus driver will text me at 7.30am if he isn't going to collect her (the school is on a hill in a rural area).

DD2's school have decided on a complicated regime:

10am start, no hot lunches, update by 9.15 if school will be closed completely, parents may pick up early if snow worsens in the day.

We have been told this afternoon that the DCs' school will be open from 9 till 11 only. We have heavy snow forecast from 8 till 12 confused

piratecat Thu 17-Jan-13 21:08:04

many teachers will be unable to get to schools tomorrow, dangerous and there won't be enough cover for all kids.

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Thu 17-Jan-13 21:08:12

It's to stop half the school ringing them ask, or to ask how you'll let them know, and also so no-one goes nuclear tomorrow if they have to keep the kids off. It's standard 'expectation management' technique - the more warning you give that something annoying is going to happen, the less ragey the affected people feel if it does.

Euphemia Thu 17-Jan-13 21:08:33

Sorry I wasn't clear - I meant if my school was closed but my local one was open. Also sometimes schools are closed to pupils but staff have to go in.

bedmonster Thu 17-Jan-13 21:08:37

It's for the reason a previous poster pointed out. There needs to be enough teaching staff present in school in line with ratio regulations for a school to be open. They won't know until the morning how many teachers will be able to make it into school.
Children should be fine in theory as most will be in catchment area, therefore, technically in walking distance.
Your school are just warning you that you will find out by text in the morning.
But as Euphemia has pointed out, teachers in our local area are supposed to walk to their nearest school and teach there for the day in the case of school. Not sure if this has ever happened, but my SIL and my Db are teachers and have told me this is what they are meant to do.

OP, the reasons the school might be closed are if the teachers cannot get to school as the conditions of the roads are dangerous/train delays/other public transport and if the pupils cannot get safely to and from the building.
We had a text saying the heavy snow is predicted at 1pm so there is a possibility the school may finish early in order for everyone to get home safely. This is quite important as my DCs take the train to school and a few flakes of snow render national rail defunct.
I wil be at work, DH will be at work and I do not want them stuck in a place that is, whilst only a 13 minute train journey, a 4 bus journey if no trains.

HecateWhoopass Thu 17-Jan-13 21:11:28

Possibly so that people don't get up tomorrow, open the curtains, see snow and go back to bed.

By telling everyone now that they will make contact IF the school is closed - people won't assume anything.

gordyslovesheep Thu 17-Jan-13 21:13:55

Mrs Mushroom why don't you checked out the severe weather warnings for a vast majority of the UK and also the warnings about driving tomorrow

the news has covered it quiet a bit

it's on at 10pm

it might help explain it

gordyslovesheep Thu 17-Jan-13 21:14:17

or you can watch it live on News 24

Catsnotrats Thu 17-Jan-13 21:16:24

I've always wondered how the 'report to your nearest school' would actually work in London. I live in a different borough to my school so I can't report to them as they are not my employer. There could be some sort of cross-borough cooperation scheme I suppose, but I imagine it would be a nightmare to organise.

In fact I have to drive through 2 other boroughs to get to my school, and the nearest school is actually only about 200m closer to my house than my actual school, so it would be a pretty pointless exercise reporting there!

Oh and op YABU.

PatTheHammer Thu 17-Jan-13 21:18:45

Euphemia- This is written in our LA that this is what teachers should do but in reality most teachers 'staff cards' are just an ID card produced by the school office. Nothing official about them, easily faked and absolutely nothing about them to say whether that staff member is fully qualified, has an up to date CRB check etc. True that we all have a contract and a DFES number, but the chances of most teachers having that to hand are slim and would make work for the school you turned up at if they had to check it all out.

I think most teachers in the county I work in know that its one of those things that nobody does, we all just stay at home if too dangerous/school closed and get on with marking/planning/looking after our own children as their schools are probably closed.

bedmonster Thu 17-Jan-13 21:19:48

I agree it would be a nightmare cats, neither my dbro or sil have done it before, although they both say it's what they're supposed to do.

Hulababy Thu 17-Jan-13 21:20:18

Had LEA policy for adverse weather this week. No mention of teachers going to local schools if they are unable to get to their own. No specific ID cards here either. In Sheffield.

If we are unable to get in it is at the school's discretion as to whether staff are paid or not. If school does close then staff are paid regardless, though schools may be asked to open an additional day later in the year - though never had that happen to me as yet.

I'll tell you all another reason wink

It's because schools sign up to these mass-text services for a year and as part of the package, the school gets like a thousand more free texts than they actually need. And then there will be someone on the SMT who is techno-happy and wants to use every available bit of technology in every single case, whether appropriate or not.


Ah. That explains why the school feels the need to text me at least twice a day.

PatTheHammer Thu 17-Jan-13 21:27:25

Hula- we have opened on an additional day a few years back. Fair enough really as we lost nearly a full week to snow days and the exam year groups really needed the time.

WillowFae Thu 17-Jan-13 21:28:45

There is a LOT of snow forecast here tomorrow and school sent an email out warning us that they may need to close early (they normally stay open till 6pm). They will make a decision by 12pm tomorrow. I think it is sensible as it gives parents time to make alternative arrangements with work / grandparents / a babysitter etc.

Ambrosiacreamedrice Thu 17-Jan-13 21:32:17

It is our GCSE exam tomorrow, so I really hope school will be able to open. However, it is half-way up a moor, so not too hopeful as we already have an inch of snow on the ground and it is snowing very heavily outside. I'm having to use two cats for heat it is that cold.

TheDailyWail Thu 17-Jan-13 21:38:06

I think they still have to open the school for exams. skeleton staff for invigilators.

Ambrosiacreamedrice Thu 17-Jan-13 21:42:42

It may be too unsafe to open. Two years ago they had to use JCBs to clear the site and closed for 4 days. If it isn't open the kids have to do it in June, but we have spent so long preparing it will be a major upset. This will be the last year for modules so from next Jan on no concerns.

We now have blizzard conditions here.

Euphemia Thu 17-Jan-13 21:53:14

Our staff cards are produced by the council, our employers. So they are official, and easily checked out by a call to the council. They also do our CRB checks.

MaureenShit Thu 17-Jan-13 21:57:10


How did this actually harm or offend you

wherearemysocka Thu 17-Jan-13 22:01:55

I can't imagine what meaningful learning would take place in a school where hardly any staff would know the names of any students, what they are studying, where they are on the course. Most likely the kids would be shoved in front of a DVD in the hall - seems a bit of a waste of time for all concerned. You've still got the problem of masses of children on a potentially dangerous site - with the added bonus that they would know the staff couldn't do anything to prevent them behaving badly.

My school expects staff to set relevant work online for the students to complete which we then mark. I've spent many a snow day emailing year 11s back and forth as they send me work to look at. I think that's more useful.

Guess that doesn't cover the babysitting aspect, but at secondary level I'd imagine they would be able to stay at home on their own anyway if parents needed to work.

Euphemia Thu 17-Jan-13 22:08:34

If I reported to my local school, I would act like a supply teacher. I would find the class teacher's planner, see what was planned for that day, and teach it.

I was a supply teacher for three years so I have a bank of lessons and lots of ideas as well.

Definitely meaningful at primary; I can't speak for secondary.

Ambrosiacreamedrice Thu 17-Jan-13 22:19:23

Oh God, you'd have no luck in my planner, all my planning is done on my laptop. My planner is just for decoration at parents evening and so I can write little notes for myself like phone the vet, investigate new career etc.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 17-Jan-13 22:22:49

I don't get this narkiness about the school attempting to communicate with you.

janey68 Thu 17-Jan-13 22:25:39

' I don't get this narkiness about the school attempting to communicate with you.'

- I think we all know it's because the OP couldn't whine that the school wasn't attempting to communicate. Some people are just born moaners.

Euphemia Thu 17-Jan-13 22:29:05

you'd have no luck in my planner grin

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 17-Jan-13 22:31:32

indeed, janey.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 17-Jan-13 22:33:49

I wonder if the OP realises that some people have to arrange childcare, and that not everyone lives close to the school.

funkybuddah Thu 17-Jan-13 22:37:18

Surely if they text to say they would text its kinda redundant?

Everyone knows its forecasted to snow so are capable of making plans if needed, why do you need the school to forewarn?
It's common sense really, stop waiting around to be told what to do in every eventually, use some initiativesl and plan.

Before our school text out today (similar message) I had already thought that my management would most likely not be able to get in & made arrangements for my friends to have dc's so I could go in for my shift as planned & cover. If noone could have dcs, I would have to go in late. Later today I got text from school & my boss explaing what common sense had already told me.

Ambrosiacreamedrice Thu 17-Jan-13 22:37:42

I'm sitting here looking out of my window and worrying about trying to drive to work tomorrow as I live one town over and also in the middle of moors. Last time it snowed it took me two hours to do a 20 minute journey and I was sliding everywhere. Some people just like to moan that teachers are skivers, the snow gives them another stick to beat us with.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 17-Jan-13 22:38:53


you would be amazed how lacking in common sense some parents are, and how quick to take umbrage.

wherearemysocka Thu 17-Jan-13 22:42:39

I think this has been a remarkably nice and reasonable thread towards teachers, actually. I shall go to bed with a warm feeling in my heart.

At least your cats give you heat, ambrosiacreamedrice. When our boiler broke mine ignored me and sprawled himself over the heated bathroom floor. I was tempted to do the same.

Ambrosiacreamedrice Thu 17-Jan-13 22:46:02

This thread, apart from the OP, has been wherearemysocka. Our local paper, on the other hand, had 3 letters from moaners complaining that us skivers might shut schools when they used to walk 8 miles up hill both ways to get to and from school.

DeepRedBetty Thu 17-Jan-13 22:48:11

BIL was in charge of school transport for the 2000 pupil school which my dds now attend (he describes it as the worst single job of his entire teaching career, btw grin, and was very glad to dump it onto a colleague last year). He told me the actual decision would be made around 6.30 in the morning, and the owner of the largest fleet of school coaches they had under contract normally called the shots. If Mr Coach Boss thought it was unsafe, that was that. Since catchment area is nearly thirty miles east to west and twenty five north to south transport is vital - only about a quarter of the children are in walking distance, and a vanishingly small number of the staff. Like most teachers they prefer to live where they're not likely to trip over Year 10's in their local pub...

MushroomSoup Thu 17-Jan-13 22:54:41

On Monday night it took me 2 and a half hours to drive my usually 30 minute journey home from school. I have had to set off much earlier, which is tricky because I've had to sort out my own childcare both for the morning, and for late into the evening.
Schools don't usually close unless there is no alternative.

Ambrosiacreamedrice Thu 17-Jan-13 22:54:51

grin Deep, I happened to pop into the Sainsbury's local near school after a Parents Evening and I followed round the aisles by grinning Year 11s asking 'What did I get on my Controlled Assessment?' For two weeks afterwards they shouted across the yard 'Miss we saw you in Sainsbury's'. This is why I live one town over.

McNewPants2013 Thu 17-Jan-13 23:06:32

Ds school communication is via Facebook and twitter. It saves alot of parent phoning into the school and asking minor questions.

MushroomSoup Thu 17-Jan-13 23:07:30

Ambrosia grin
I feel your pain!
And that is why I live 30 minutes drive away!

DeepRedBetty Thu 17-Jan-13 23:13:48

Precisely Ambrosia! At least they didn't see you putting Tampax in your shopping bag, or gin (or did they? grin)

manicinsomniac Thu 17-Jan-13 23:16:06

as far as I've been told, it isn't lack of teachers that prevents a school opening, it's lack of catering staff.

I work in a boarding school so we have to stay open. When the snow is appalling only the 20% or so of us staff who live in walking distance make it in. Combining classes isn't a problem but we have had real difficulty getting enough hot food for the children ready before.

ouryve Thu 17-Jan-13 23:16:29

Heavy snow is forecast and some people would appreciate some advance warning that school closure might happen so they have half a chance of making provisional childcare arrangements if they need to and can do.


OscarPistoriusBitontheside Thu 17-Jan-13 23:20:15


I want school to close becuase of two reasons.

1.) I quite fancy a 3 day weekend.


2.) We have a weird microclimate going on here and have been snowed in every winter since we lived here and it's not looking like we'll be able to get out anyway.

MonthlyWishesCameAndWent Thu 17-Jan-13 23:27:09


goldiehorn Thu 17-Jan-13 23:28:40

The problem is as well, is that if the snow comes at lunchtime, you then have the chaotic situation of the school putting out a message to parents saying they can come and pick the kids up from lunchtime onwards. So the kids leaving one at a time every few minutes, (apart from a few who are stuck there way after school time finishes because their parents cannot come and pick them up) leaving the rest of the children high as kites and staring out of the window begging to be allowed outside. And then the teachers cannot get home because the snow has come down so heavily.

In some cases it is just easier to just shut the school pre emptively, although I think headteachers are reluctant to do this as they will look like right numpties if it does not materialise

oh get over yourself. count yourself lucky they even bother giving you warning. sheesh. some folks seem to need a reason to bitch.

chocoluvva Fri 18-Jan-13 00:07:01

The lady on the news described the snow as a "weather event"!!

And a Mrs Bunn (honestly) was filmed receiving her "survival pack". Which seemed to comprise a hat and pair of gloves. 'twas on the news at 10.

thebody Fri 18-Jan-13 00:25:50

My dds arnt going in tomorrow.

It's going to snow hard so may not be able to get them and its a 3 mike walk to our house.

Am amazed that parents bothering to send their kids.

As a TA I can't see myself going in even though I could walk in but the walk is very dangerous as no pavement.

Keep safe and have a snow day...

DeepRedBetty Fri 18-Jan-13 00:29:46

Not sure if it'll be a Snow Day or not, air temperature has shot up and it's sleet not snow now. sad for dd1 who has spent the evening finding her waterproofs etc ready for some serious tobogganing on the lethal rather steep slope on the other side of the valley in the morning.

janey68 Fri 18-Jan-13 08:49:37

Where I am, the bus services have been suspended. Oh and I've also noticed the recycling lorry hasn't been round for its usual 7.30 am collection. So I suspect it's a few more places of work than schools which aren't operational today. Are you going to have a pop at them too op? Or is it just schools and teachers you want to get narky with?

Who'd be a teacher, or work in a school office? honestly, they always seem to be the brunt of this crap . Envy? Or just plain mean spiritedness?

DD's secondary and DS's primary are open, at the moment. I need to keep track as they could close the schools later. We are in Leicestershire, so snow forecasted to hit later this morning/lunchtime.

DS's school is in the middle of a residential area, and although the two streets on the bus route have been gritted, the remaining estate hasn't. As a result getting to the school is hard. I walked up (lucky we are only a minute from the school), literally dragging DS on the icy pavement because he couldn't keep his balance.

If I can get the car out to the gritted street, I'll be fine from there...It's getting out that's the problem.

MrsMushroom Fri 18-Jan-13 09:20:24

Ours opened! But may close early. hmm

CockyPants Fri 18-Jan-13 09:29:01

OP I'm in Chester. Snowing heavily since 7:45am. Did Sainsbugs shop yesterday cos of bad forecast. DD school open at the mo, so I'm MNetting and watching daytime tv. Crock o shite....

Tanith Fri 18-Jan-13 09:37:56

That's what I thought when the text came through at 7 this morning. Not a flake!

The roads are now practically impassable.

Oblomov Fri 18-Jan-13 09:48:05

Got text last night, similar. Unlike OP was just grateful to be kept informed. Minimal snow ths morning, thus have dropped ds1 off. Am expecting text during the day though, to ask for him to be collected.

Pigsmummy Fri 18-Jan-13 10:52:22

A simple text confirming "don't call us, we will call you"? YABU

Pigsmummy Fri 18-Jan-13 10:55:25

Are you my (slightly unhinged) sister? She would find this something to moan about too.

CrunchyFrog Fri 18-Jan-13 11:41:47

I hope my kids' school closes, it's a bloody nightmare to get to in snow, because of all the fuckwits who drive uneccessarily. Always a few cars sliding backwards down the ungritted hill!

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