WEST NORFOLK: Some parents angry - But why do our schools shut up shop?
While some parents were happy to spend an extra day with their children and glad to keep them safe indoors, but many others felt the closures were unnecessary.
Victoria Vertigan commented on our Facebook page and said: “Just doesn’t make sense why England almost comes to a complete standstill when it snows!
“I never remember the schools closing when I was at school just because of the snow. I have children with medical conditions who don’t deal with change so not being at school in their usual routine is really affecting them.”
Jo Jackson commented via Twitter: “Our school, Gaywood Primary, is still open and so cool they’ve bought sledges for the children to play on!”
Jason Smith told us via Facebook: “I think it is an absolute disgrace that St Clement’s High turned the kids away at 8.40am last week and decided to shut.
“Ok if parents were at home but if they were out at work, what were the kids to do except walk about in the cold?
“Everybody else seems to get to work ok except teachers. I think the excuse is that some of them live a long way away like Norwich, but why employ them if they live so far away? Employ ones that live nearer.
“I drive a taxi and have school contracts and if the schools close we don’t get paid for those days but very often don’t find out the school is shut until we have set off to pick the pupils up, as most of them live some distance away. You set off early and even earlier when conditions are bad, only to find the school is shut thus wasting our time and not even getting paid for it.”
However, headteacher Dr Victoria Worsnop said that while she did have to make a late decision to close St Clement’s High last Tuesday, all pupils were supervised while they contacted parents to let them know school would be closed.
Dr Worsnop explained that each morning at 5.15am she started looking at all the information she needed to decide whether to open the school.
She said: “Every single head has got to look at the balance of probabilities - have you got heating? Have you got enough staff to safely look after the children? Enough staff to run the lessons? We have to think about staff coming in from a distance. Can we feed the students? Can catering staff get in?”
St Clement’s was open to Years Ten and Eleven only yesterday, due to numbers of available staff and exams for the older children.
Springwood, KES and Lynn Academy secondary schools were closed, along with Downham Market High, Fakenham High and Marshland High.
On Friday students at the College of West Anglia went home early at the request of coach companies which take them to and from the site.
Some students left at 1pm instead of 4pm or 4.30pm to ensure they could get home safely, particularly those who live in rural areas.
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Weather for King's Lynn
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west