Monday, 2 February 2009

I know that every school day counts so I struggle to understand why when it snows we close...

As Radio Leeds put it to me this lunchtime, hospitals don't close when the snows come so why should schools? Clearly, every school needs to conduct a health and safety audit to see if they can safely manage to open, but why are schools contacting Radio Leeds to find out whether neighbouring schools are open? Clearly, the buses are vital for some schools but what about local children who can just walk to school? Clearly, teachers don't all live close to their schools but a lot of colleagues do and can get in? What happens to those young people whose parents and carers don't listen to Radio Leeds and turn up at school?

Our priority will always be ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our children and young people. Headteachers have a hard call to make but we advise schools to try to remain open whenever possible. Do we need schools to develop a snow strategy which kicks in when it snows and means that we operate on a basic staffing model with every child and young person who turns up at school.

I would welcome your comments and suggestions.

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