1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Staying open during snow?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by NQT1986, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    I don't know why I've got snow on the brain-I think it's just cold in my house!

    I was just wondering if schools who stay open during the snow suffer problems with their attendance percentages or not? My school was the only one in the area who opened when we had heavy snow last year and out of 600 pupils, only about 90 turned up, despite the children living locally and the teachers having walked miles in the snow. Do Those Important
    People like Ofsted/the government/Queen/God think that it's preferable to have an untainted attendance record or better to stay open at any cost?
    When attendance records are studied-do they excuse things like 20% attendance during snow; what should schools do?
     
  2. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    I don't know why I've got snow on the brain-I think it's just cold in my house!

    I was just wondering if schools who stay open during the snow suffer problems with their attendance percentages or not? My school was the only one in the area who opened when we had heavy snow last year and out of 600 pupils, only about 90 turned up, despite the children living locally and the teachers having walked miles in the snow. Do Those Important
    People like Ofsted/the government/Queen/God think that it's preferable to have an untainted attendance record or better to stay open at any cost?
    When attendance records are studied-do they excuse things like 20% attendance during snow; what should schools do?
     
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    We had more staff than children on most of the snow days earlier this year ...
     
  4. lilykitty

    lilykitty New commenter

    Our local authority got really ratty last year and pushed hard for all schools to open, so I'm guessing they must prefer it to closure, even if attendence is down (it was!). They issued a statement saying that even if the school was closed, teachers were still expected to go in and do some work without the children there.
    I think a lot of parents depend on school for childcare and there were a lot of complaints over schools closing. That's not to criticise parents - if they only have an hour to arrange childcare for their children for the day it is very difficult.
     
  5. I work at an international school in the Czech Republic. We have pupils from all over the world. Guess which group of parents keep their children off school when it's snowing? That's right - the Brits.

    The country continues running just fine - and our Slavic snow is much heavier, denser and longer lasting than British snow. Nothing closes - and everything remains to operate at the same speeds/ timing. But that doesn't stop the Brits from complaining and staying home.
     
  6. I think it's better to stay open if possible but you're meant to go to your nearest school if the snow is too bad to get to your own - how on earth can that happen in this day and age with police checks? Anyone could roll up claiming to be a teacher... the mind boggles!
     
  7. We were disgusted ourselves, and did complain to our Head. He said his hands are tied as it's an LA stipulation and we risk not being paid for snow days if we live 'a reasonable walking distance' from school but don't show. Doesn't affect me as I live about twenty miles away and haven't got a hope of getting in under those circumstances, but lots of localish staff were very aggrieved, and wanted to know what they would be expected to do with their own kids - no answers so far!
     
  8. I remember one year out in the wilds of County Durham (well at a school with a humongously large hill - as year 6 would describe it when asked to pick a better adjective than "big" - on the approach to it) when I got a phonecall to say that, as the school buses on the outward leg to begin their pickups (for it was a RC school serving three parishes so had quite a lot of the kids coming in by LEA provided bus) had had a nasty near-miss skidding down the aforementioned hill, school was closing for the day, since I lived in-catchment could I run around the busstops in my village and let any parents waiting know.
    So I trotted off, like Scott of the Antarctic wearing every item of clothing I could find (hate being cooooold) to deal with that village, and headed home to defrost. Fifteen minutes later I get another call - half the parents, on being told school was closed because the bus driver had decided "no-way" after hurtling down evil hill on the way out and not wanting to risk the kids' safety on the roads the way they were, had put their kids in cars, gone up evil hill themselves, dumped the kids at school and scarpered off before they could be challenged for the day - so we ended up with about 20 abandoned kids landed on us - thankfully another teacher who lived locally was always in incredibly early anyway so there was someone on-site who hadn't gone home yet, but since I lived locally enough to get in (and on the opposite side of the village from the really difficult hill) could I come in to help babysit as well?
    Now I didn't mind doing that (we went out and played snowball fights) - but the mentality of the parents being told that the bus had nearly headed into a ditch on the outward bound journey as the roads were THAT bad that day, basically risking their necks anyway and doing a dump and run without checking there was anyone actually at school to supervise those kids... that one shocked me. Once gritters got out to do the roads (I think it was one time the council had really got caught short that day) other colleagues got in later on in the day as well in the end.
     

Share This Page