Thousands of schools were expected to close on Monday after heavy weekend snowfalls blanketed playgrounds and left surrounding roads impassable. This is from the Telegraph…
As many as 3,000 primary and secondary schools were set to shut because of concerns teachers were unable to make it into the classroom.
Schools in counties such as Devon, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Staffordshire, Somerset, Sussex, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and parts of south Wales had already confirmed many full or partial closures by Sunday night.
Other schools in northern counties were expected to follow on Monday morning, with heavy snow expected to fall overnight in parts of the UK.
It was feared that some schools could shut for several days after forecasters warned that the freezing weather would continue until at least the end of the week.
On Sunday, some head teachers warned pupils and parents not to arrive until at least 10am on Monday to allow staff to grit entrances and roads.
Many others schools confirmed they would only be open for 16- to 18-year-olds to allow pupils to sit GCSE and A-level exams.
Tests in IT, psychology, geography, biology, English and business studies were all due to take place on Monday, with a total of more than 100,000 teenagers affected.
Closures are expected to cause chaos for parents, with many mothers and fathers forced to take the day off work – or find emergency day care – to look after children.
Many took to social media websites to criticise closures last week amid claims schools had only been hit by a light dusting of snow.
But Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “There’s been quite heavy snowfall forecast in the next few days and that will affect schools – particularly in those areas where councils are struggling to keep the roads fully open.
“Head teachers take the decision based on an assessment of the risk involved. The health and safety of children is of paramount importance. In some cases, there might not be all that much snow around the school, but if teachers live a distance away and cannot get in it can cause real problems.”
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “Schools will try not to close for more than a day or two because children can suddenly start to fall behind quite quickly. Most schools will hope to be fully open by the middle of the week but in rural areas that may not be possible.”