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to think that schools take the decision to close too lightly.?

(14 Posts)
lisbey Sun 27-Sep-09 18:50:32

My DSs' primary school was closed on Friday because of a power cut. The power cut lasted 35 mins from 8:15 (mum lives across the road)

Now, I appreciate that at 8:40ish when the first children arrived for school they might not have known how long it would last (but would be surprised if the power company couldn't give them an idea)

However, it was a beautiful day. I know they would have had to rethink a lot of the planned activities for the day, some improvisation/reorganisation in the kitchen would be required etc. Surely though they could have spent the day on the school field if necessary.

It just seems to me that there's al this fuss about parents ensuring children are in school, but the slightest excuse has the school closed.

If they were running a commercial business and would have lost money or if the staff were unpaid if they didn't work, I'm sure they would have found a way to stay open.

BTW this is nothing to do with me being inconvenienced. The boys had a lovely day with my Mum. I didn't even know about it til I got hops at 6:30.

Rachmumoftwo Sun 27-Sep-09 18:58:11

It does seem silly to close over a power cut unless the children were at risk for any reason.

Schools around here don't get away with closing without a very good reason. The schools that closed during the snow last winter were all expected to submit full reports justifying their decision.

LadyMuck Sun 27-Sep-09 19:00:47

Doesn't it depend on how fire alarms etc function?

I assume that like any business they have various risk assessments in place, and if certain things are not in place then they have to close. Keeping all the children in the field all day might be fine if risk assessed and suitable measures in place, but I suspect many schools wouldn't view that as the best option.

RustyBear Sun 27-Sep-09 19:03:16

I wish the junior school I work in would close every time we have a power cut! We have a notoriously unstable power supply in our part of town & we're always getting cuts.

I can only assume they had some vital system that meant health & safety would be compromised - can't think what though - our fire alarms have battery backup, being without anything else would be inconvenient, but not impossible.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Sun 27-Sep-09 19:04:04

This is a little difficult TBH, although I understand your frustration.

The school presumably didn't know how long the power cut would last and once the children were in school they would have had problems contacting many of the parents.

wrt to the kitchen our school have cook chill meals brought in so no oven = no warm food and no stocks kept in the kitchen to make sandwiches. Possibly no power means no hot water, heating, emergency lighting only? There are a lot of things to consider.

nickytwotimes Sun 27-Sep-09 19:06:09

I see your point, but yab a bit u.

School buildings are ridiculously well regulated and as parents we would be the first to complain if anything put our precious kids in danger, wouldn't we? It is not the same as a commercial business.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Sun 27-Sep-09 19:10:07

Had they stayed open their would be probably be another thread along the lines off 'School kept my PFB out on the field the whole day, gave them a measly ham sandwich for lunch and they couldn't wash their hands because there was no hot water'. AIBU? grin

lisbey Sun 27-Sep-09 19:12:05

Oh I know, there are plenty of reasonable reasons to close, I just think they could have stayed open if they'd tried hard enough .

The school meals and fire alarms were all I could think of. Alarms have emergency power supply and the school is 10 min from large Tesco, so I'm sure the catering company could have found a way to manage...if they'd wanted to.

School field suggestion was just for if they really couldn't stay in the school building, but they could have.

echt Sun 27-Sep-09 21:19:37

Lisbey, have you read your last sentence? They clearly had reasons, and they have rules they must follow to protect YOUR child. So why don't you ring in ask exactly what they were then get back to us?

thisisyesterday Sun 27-Sep-09 21:22:10

i agree, the little village i used to live in was forever having power cuts and we still went to school

also reminds me about the snow we had not that long ago. all the schools and playgroups were closed.
except the private ones hmm
if ds's private nursery could open, then why couldn't any of the schools?

hocuspontas Sun 27-Sep-09 21:32:23

It's possible most of the nursery staff (being low-paid workers) live within walking distance of the nursery. It's unlikely that schools would have enough teachers who live that close.

sayithowitis Sun 27-Sep-09 21:43:09

Sorry Lisbey, but I do think YABU. How do you propose the teachers actually teach there class when the whole school is on the field? For a start, their voices would not be as audible because a lot of the sound would be carried away, unlike when they are in a classroom. Secondly, the general hubbub of a whole school in close proximity would make it even more difficult.

Secondly, if it was such a beautiful day, you can be sure that if the children had remained on the field all day, there would be some parents complaining that their children got sunburnt because they didn't have adequet sun protection. And what if it had rained? Where would they have gone then?

Thirdly, it doesn't matter how close the school is to tesco's. The cost of the sandwiches, even if there were enough available, would have been prohibitive for the catering company. Also, what about the children with allergies etc? The food that is prepared in school kitchens these days has to take account of allergies,religious requirements etc, which stores like Tesco's do not.

Finally, I wouldn't mind betting that ultimately the decision was not down to the head teacher anyway. it is more likely that advice was taken from the LEA and that it was actually the LEA decision.

It really isn't a case of the school 'not trying hard enough' to stay open, rather, a case of doing their best to ensure the safety of the children in their care.

ABetaDad Sun 27-Sep-09 21:50:33

I suspect that once children started arriving they had to make a quick decision whether to send them back home with parents rather than have to call parents back in again an hour later.

The power company would not have known how long it would last. It could have been off all day. Indeed the school might not have been able to get through to the power company. Everyone else would have been tryng to phone as well.

corblimeymadam Sun 27-Sep-09 21:59:46

Message withdrawn

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