Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Help, help It's snowing!

I have never understood why some schools close when there is a millimetre of snow on the ground. I'm quite sure that the words 'Health and Safety' would be used to somehow justify everyone sitting at home whilst causing an absolute nightmare for parents who have to go into work as normal and find someone gullible enough to look after their children at short notice.

Worst of all, it just lowers the general public's impression of teachers even more.

If your school is closed for a few days, I dare you to tell everyone that you went on a lastminute.com short skiing break to the Alps...

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's nothing some teachers like more than a whole day in school without children. They don't just sort out cupboards and look at new initiatives and do all the other mindless, idiotic things that they like to rather than have a life...

...when the kids aren't in they can force everyone else to do it, too!

I can't remember where I heard this, (might have been here - who knows?) but I was recently told about an NQT who was marked down by his mentor because he had compartmentalised his work and personal life too effectively - he needs to think about his work all the time if he wants to be an effective teacher.

Working 1265 hours a year isn't enough - they want your mind...

Cynical

Anonymous said...

My son's school is closed today - we have about 1 inch of snow and the roads are absolutely clear - my son is very happy as it's his birthday.

I looked at their website and it said the school was open for teachers "who can make it in". My OH called to speak to the head and the receptionist said that only her, the caretaker and the head of modern languages were in.

This is what we pay our taxes for.

Anonymous said...

I'm on a PGCE placement at a school on the London/Surrey borders, and diligently made my way in - to be honest, once I'd got onto the main roads they were, just very slow.

But because not enough members of staff could make it in - including the cooks - the head decided to close the school. I was going to stay and work on folders, assessment, etc. but at 10.30 was told we should all go home.

In some ways I guess it's better for the kids that school is closed - we're not allowed to let them play in the snow on the playgroud for "health and safety reasons" (like they don't fall over every day out there anyway....) so at least if there's no school they can stay at home and make their snowmen, etc!

Steve said...

Hear Hear. I have experienced areas of Europe and North America where they have feet of snow every year for months. Kids go to school and everyone goes to work as usual until it really gets bad. What a pathetic people we are.

Anonymous said...

Hertfordshire regularly closes its schools. Today we had around 90mm of snow and to be fair to them the local roads in the village were treacherous and many of the teachers do come in from a way out. On this occasion I thought it was a good idea to prevent the cars driving on local roads and to for the mums and dads to trek in to a school were only 50% of the teachers may have been there by 9am. I think this is the first time I have ever disagreed with Mr Chalk! I think todays closure would have been justified on its own merits, and at least the decision had been made by 6:30am this morning, leaving me plenty of time to make alternative arrangements. I have the opportunity to work from home and instead of working I snowballed, sledged and snowmanned until 11am when I took the boy (via sledge) to the childminders and started work for the day. Back to my initial point though, Hertforshire would have closed the school today even if there had been 10mm of snow, which would have been unjustified.

lilyofthefield said...

We had about ten flakes that melted within the hour but I bet at least half the kids in Leeds claim tomorrow as a snow day. I hope.

oldandrew said...

I have two glorious days off. Then half term.

It makes being a teacher worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

we had a dusting of snow in our village - you could still see the white lines through it. the bin men didn't come out because 'it wasn't safe'.
the gritter managed it last night, the postman did this morning as did the milk man, forty or so people drove out as normal to their jobs... but it was too dangerous for the bin men.
coincidentally, i heard on the grapevine that our council tax is going up by 14% this year.

someone is taking the piss.

Anonymous said...

I have one child at a state school within 1 mile of the house, on a main road that had been cleared. My other child is at a private school, 15 miles away by public transport and at the end of a long uncleared road.

Guess which one managed to get 100% of the staff in and stayed open? Yup - the one I pay extra for.
This is also the school that doesn't have supply teachers ad-infinitum, doesn't have to get parental permission for every tiny thing and doesn't assume that all parents are paedophiles who will do dreadful things with any photographs of the children that they happen to take at school events.

I could go on - but my rant quota for the day has now been used up.

Sir Henry Morgan said...

This country is turning its kids into a collection of girls'blouses.

When I was at primary school I had to walk one and a half miles x-country to catch a bus for another two and a half miles, then another three-quarter mile walk across town to school. Reverse to get back home in the evening. I also had to be in charge of my sister, who was two years younger than me.

That was rain sleet snow or shine, all year-round, and frequently involved carrying shopping home in the evening.

And that was back in the late fifties/early sixties when it really did snow hard at times in rural Wales.

Did I ever tell you about when we all had to live in a shoebox ...

The walking to/from school is true enough though.

Eileen said...

Have a read of the latest review of your book on Amazon. You've obviously upset somebody! He's not your old Headteacher is he?

Here's my favourite quote:

"it's just Jeremy Clarkson -lite, the Sun's `White Van Man' the regressive, reactionary, simplistic solutions of the pub bore. Simple `innit? Bring back the cane, reintroduce grammar schools and throw all the chavs in special schools with Genghis Khan in charge."

He only gave you one star out of five so go to the bottom of the class!

"

Anonymous said...

I'd give anything to have a Head like Genghis Khan in charge of our place, rather than the weaselly creep who backs down every time a parent complains and who consistently falls for the half baked story of a naughty pupil over the word of a teacher.

yorkshire ken said...

eileen - i just read that review. the guy has totally missed the point. i don't get from the book that frank believes "the chavs, council estate scum and the great unwashed have got what they deserve" at all. he says several times he thinks the kids are being let down by the system, their parents, their schools and everyone else. he also clearly finds some of the kids' attempts to learn in a crap environment very moving*.

also, the guy gives it 1 out of 5 while saying 'it's a well-aimed Exocet missile that leaves a gaping hole in the good ship `education, education, education'.'

go figure!

i'm going to stick a review of my own on there now.

*unless i'm wrong and this boy is right frank?

eggs&bacon said...

Anonymous said...
someone is taking the piss.
23:50

yep, it's you.
The problem isn't the snow it is the ice that goes with it. Why should a bin man risk slipping and falling to empty your rubbish? Why risk several tons of collecting lorry skidding unnecessarily? Your bin just isn't that important and besides, I like an unexpected day off.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to stick up for my LEA now. I'm a teacher in Worcester and I would like to say a big thanks to my employer for realising that I don't need to be in a school when only half the class might be able to make it and I certainly don't need to be caught in a 5 mile tail back in hazardous conditions.

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Anonymous said...

Someone has already made the point but I have to repeat it. When my son attended his private school, a 35 mile cross country coach trip morning and evening and it snowed he still got there. My wife teaches in a LEA school that closes at the drop of a hat or in this case snowflake. She goes in and discovers that few other staff even make the attempt or bother to ring in.
Those that can't be bothered clearly have no loyalty or interest in the school or its pupils.

lilyofthefield said...

I think you'll find that the more arbitrary application of Health & Safety regulations and the uncharitable staffing policies make it a much dodgier proposition to follow government advice regarding personal and road safety in a private school than a state one.

Isabella Snow said...

3 feet of snow where I live, and the schools were open. All metro services punctual as well. Amazing, considering how archaic other aspects of living appear to be here.

redkudu said...

You think that's bad - where I live (Texas) the entire CITY shuts down if we have a little cold rain.

Anonymous said...

If we had snow that lasted for weeks, then I'd expect my kids (if I had any) to go to school, yes, but round here it snows so rarely, I would let my kids (if they existed) take a day off, otherwise their whole childhood might go by without ever making a snowman, throwing a snowball, or sledging down a snowcovered hill.

K

Anonymous said...

In many countries snow is part if winter, and I'm not talking Greenland or Siberial just France, Germany, Switzerland, the Scandinavias and nobody bats an eyelid when there's snow. No schools close, Busses and trains continue to function on time. what's the problem with this country???

James said...

According to my Head of Sixth Form, the decision is usually forced by the bus companies. Given that poor behaviour on buses was a severe problem at my school and nearly led to at least one serious accident, I can't really blame them.