Snow day is snow joke

b13-046 Snow in Bedford''Sledging on Robin Hill, Bedford
b13-046 Snow in Bedford''Sledging on Robin Hill, Bedford

A frustrated mother has called on education chiefs to stop schools closing due to snow after her daughters’ school closed for the day on Monday.

Lisa Howard, of King Edward Road, Bedford wrote to Secretary of State for education Michael Gove and MP for Bedford and Kempston Richard Fuller this week after finding out at 10pm on Sunday that her children’s school Newnham Middle would be closed on Monday.

Newnham Middle was among hundreds of schools in Bedfordshire that took the decision to close on Monday. The majority were open again on Tuesday.

In the letter she said: “I received a text message at 10pm tonight informing me that my daughters school, Newnham Middle, in Bedford was to be closed on Monday amid concerns of travelling and on site conditions caused by the snow.

“As a direct result of that decision I have had to take unpaid time off from work at a cost of £150, which, at a time when bills are high and costs are soaring, it is a huge chunk of money to lose.

“How many general and teaching staff will be unpaid as a direct result of school closure?

“Do you honestly believe that people are not going to be driving to other places of education and work, on roads that have been gritted?

“If every business and place of education had the same mindset of so many schools I would imagine that there would be an outcry and a full enquiry held, yet time and time again it seems most schools can just decide to close without a thought or care about the knock on effect it has on 100s of parents and carers up and down the country.”

A Bedford Borough Council spokesman said: ”It’s up to each school individually to take the decision about whether or not they are able to safely open in these situations. Safety at each school will vary according to the conditions at each site.

“The schools that have remained open reviewed the conditions, the level of staffing available, and the safety of the site.

“Schools will only close as a last resort. Those schools forced to close will do their utmost to inform parents as early as possible, so that they can make appropriate arrangements.”