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to think that closing schools actually isn't necessary at all?

(221 Posts)
manicinsomniac Mon 21-Jan-13 11:12:46

I fully accept that I might be and I have several pros and cons in my head. Just interested in others' opinions.

Where I live we have had a lot of snow. Not all roads are clear. The school is in a rural area. 50% of staff and 80% of children live between 10 and 60 minutes drive away. We are open (due to our 20% of boarders) and only 2 staff members and 14 children (out of about 40 staff and 350 children) are absent.

The children were under no compulsion to attend (email just said come if safe) but they have made it so AIBU to think that closing for almost all other schools should not have been necessary?

Cons (reasons I think I might be BU):
*we don't very often get snow like this so maybe the children are gaining more by being at home and getting the chance to play in it.
* if all schools opened then the journeys might have been harder than they were and maybe it wouldn't be possible to get in (ie maybe it was only ok for us because the roads were quieter)
* For staff who are nervous drivers there is an awful lot of judgement
* The children who don't make it in are getting behind through no fault of their own.

Pros (reasons I think I am not BU):
* the children continue to get their education
* the children are with their friends and have all the grounds to play in all together (we have an organised snow fight and a sculpture competition today for eg)
*'community spirit and British reslilience' and all that jazz!

ShephardsDelight Wed 23-Jan-13 16:45:39

I'm pretty sure other countries cope better than we do with a lot of snow.

perfectstorm Wed 23-Jan-13 17:12:47

They do spend a lot of money on that coping, though. Chains for tyres, snow ploughs, etc. which we don't need, so don't bother. Sensibly enough, I think. The costs of those things would be ridiculous for what actually only happens for a day or two, every couple of years. Kind of like schools in exceptionally hot countries have air conditioning, and ours don't. For the most part, this is a very temperate country.

I suppose the simple answer is: some schools do have to close, others don't.

JustAHolyFool Wed 23-Jan-13 17:21:22

But perfect this has been going on for the best part of a week now. There's been snow the last 3 years that I can remember.

But I don't think England actually needs more gritters and ploughs and stuff. What it does need is to stop listening to media hysteria and thinking that an inch of snow means you can't leave the house.

Bunbaker Wed 23-Jan-13 17:39:08

"I'm pretty sure other countries cope better than we do with a lot of snow."

We all know that. We all know that they do because they get snow every winter. I'm sure that you would be the first to complain if your council tax went through the roof because your local council had spent £££ on gritters/snow ploughs/grit/salt etc and then had no snow to deal with for several winters on the trot.

One of the reasons we got caught out 2 years ago was that most of the snow clearing equipment had rusted because it hadn't been used for several years.

I want to put some of the blame on car manufacturers who think that everyone and his dog wants a car with low profile tyres. I don't, but for my last 2 cars haven't been able to find a car within my price range that I like that doesn't have them. Therefore my car slides all over the place when it snows. Luckily I do have access to public transport, but not everyone does.

perfectstorm Wed 23-Jan-13 18:54:29

Justaholy it's still pretty rare that schools close. Most in the country haven't been, this week - just on Friday. And in fairness, nobody at the start of the day knew how much snow there'd be by the end.

I've already posted that I don't think the local schools needed to at all. But others have, because they've had a lot more than an inch.

perfectstorm Wed 23-Jan-13 18:55:44

And I don't know where you live, but there was no snow here last year. There was masses the previous two, in succession, but it was so unusual nobody could believe it. And before that, there hadn't been truly heavy snow that I can recall since 2000/2001.

ShephardsDelight Wed 23-Jan-13 19:00:00

Why are you sure I would be the first to complain? confused

I would rather pay more tax ,than having to spend weeks housebound due the pavements being solid ice and just unsafe for a pram.

Hobbitation Wed 23-Jan-13 19:04:26

I can understand people finding it difficult with prams etc - was in that position myself when a foot of snow came in a few hours two years ago. No snow here last year.

But there were a number of kids who live on the same street as us - ten minutes walk from school - whose parents apparently just didn't bother to take them to school on Monday when it was open. I don't get that.

manicinsomniac Wed 23-Jan-13 19:15:42

There have been some very good cases made for closing individual schools.

I do find in interesting though that, in my area, only about 3 schools were open on Monday. But only about 3 schools were closed on Tuesday. The conditions hadn't changed. If anything it was worse on Tuesday because the roads were icier. It made me wonder if a lot of schools didn't think 'oops, if we close for 2 days people will think we're taking the piss so we'd better open'. And found that actually it was perfectly possible.

IAmLouisWalsh Wed 23-Jan-13 20:38:22

right so for a school to be open when it's snowing there needs to be the following:Clear main and side roads leading to school, Clear pavements,Buses running,Local staff who are not risking their personal safety to get to work,Decent size cloakroom, Good flooring,Every child to have a pair of wellies

Doriswe weren't closed because of the flooring - just pointing out that not all public buildings are fit for purpose.

We were closed because we didn't have enough staff to supervise the children, and could not tell with any certainty what time we would have staff in by. So it was safer to close rather than risk having too many kids and not enough staff. If we had asked kids to come in at 11.30am that would have been worse for some parents than them not coming in at all.

ShellyBoobs Wed 23-Jan-13 20:42:46

In fact all of our parents supported the decision and said they would not have driven in those conditions anyway.

Really? All of them?


frogspoon Wed 23-Jan-13 20:55:50

A local secondary school (not the one I work in) opened on Monday. A girl was hit by a car when she slipped on ice crossing the road on her way to school. She broke her arm, but considering how much more serious it could have been, I think she was extremely lucky.

The local council should have taken more care to grit the roads outside the school, and failing that if local conditions were dangerous, the school should not have opened.

RustyBear Wed 23-Jan-13 21:04:22

justaholyfool - people learn to drive by driving, they learn to drive in snow by driving in snow - so people who are incompetent at driving in snow can only get better at it by driving in snow while they are still incompetent...

thebody Wed 23-Jan-13 21:14:39

Hi Shelley, yes I do work full time in a school. I had to retrain and work around my dd.

My previous business as a successful cm ended last feb when my dd was badly injured in a crash on the way home from a school skiing trip.

So that's why I actually appreciate one snow day with my dd.

You did ask.

thebody Wed 23-Jan-13 21:25:16

Can I add the ones who criticise the school and teachers for being lazy and not bothering are the ones who would he the first to sue if Pfb fell over on the ice on the school drive.

My dd was badly hurt on a school trip, we done blame the school one jot. None if us, teachers were wonderful and one gave his life..others battled to save our girl with serious injuries.

We live in a society that sues for the least thing and teachers are damned if they open and damned if they close.

It's not that easy to just say open and be damned.

JustAHolyFool Wed 23-Jan-13 21:38:04

How do you know they'd be the first ones to sue, thebody ?

I hate school closures but I haven't noticed any particular litigiousness about me.

thebody Wed 23-Jan-13 22:28:35

Just.. Sorry clearly you don't understand where we as parents come from.

And why would you.

Sorry to hijack thread so off.

JustAHolyFool Wed 23-Jan-13 22:37:56

Yes, clearly my barren wombed self could never possibly form an opinion on anything related to children.

Apologies, parents. I forgot you were the only ones allowed an opinion.

thebody Wed 23-Jan-13 22:53:30

Just, am sorry but I assumed you were a parent ad you were talking about school closures.

Are you a teacher? My ds is a teacher with no children and I am a TA.

Again sorry if I offended you but to he honest the last year has been a total blur for us. A totally horrific year so that's my defence.

Please don't take offence.

Bunbaker Thu 24-Jan-13 07:13:28

"The conditions hadn't changed."

They had for us. It snowed all morning on Monday with no let up. Once the snow ploughs and gritters had done their work on Monday night the roads were clear on Tuesday morning and the buses were running.

DD couldn't have got to school on Monday even if it was open because I couldn't get the car out and there were no buses.

alistron1 Thu 24-Jan-13 07:22:22

The thing is there are school closures in other countries. My BIL is from toronto and he informs me that over there when heavy snow is falling the schools close because the traffic conditions are dangerous. Once it's stopped falling and the roads are cleared schools reopen. So not much different to here.

Where I live we've had 0ver 20cm of snow - the schools closed for 2 days while it was falling (well 1.5 really - friday was a partial closure) on tuesday most were open unless they had localised site issues.

And last friday, lots of businesses and shopping centres closed early too, given the deteriorating conditions on the roads - it wasn't just schools.

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