Jump to content

What kind of bad weather and how much to shut school in your region?


Recommended Posts

In your part of the UK what causes school closures and is it like the US when it happens or do they do things differently when they do close over there?  Also what's the most number of closures in one year?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cynics would argue that, in this 'snowflake' generation (pardon the pun), schools close in the UK at the first sign of the white stuff. I don't know about that, but influences on school closures include location (hills etc), the fact that many teachers and some college / school students live a way from their schools, availability of heating (burst pipes etc), and of course road gritting and transport which does seem to descend into chaos at the first sign of snow. I've no idea on stats but I recall that there were a lot of school closures in the winters of 2009 and 2010 and as a result of 'The Beast from the East' in Feb/March 2018. And for what it's worth, I don't recall there being any closures at my school in the cruel winter of 1962/3, despite it being located on top of a hill on the North Downs. Frozen toilets and school milk / late arrivals - yes, closure - never!

In the 'smog' of December 1962, we were sent home early one afternoon, and I understand that after the Great Storm of October 1987, the Head of my old school was heard to shout at his Secretary something to the effect, "No, tell the ******** parents that I'm not going to close the school for a little bit of wind!" I heard that at a muster at 10am that day, ten boys and fewer than ten teachers signed in!      

Link to post
Share on other sites

My primary school never closed, it was a policy of theirs to be open always, perhaps due to its history as a boarding school. The only time we were sent home late morning was when the school lost power and it wasn’t likely to come back.

In the seven years I was at secondary school, it only shut on 5th/6th Feb 2009 and 6th/7th Jan 2010. The latter was also the first day back after the Christmas holidays. Apparently it’s only closed since on 18th Jan 2013 and 2nd Mar 2018, so I guess there has to be at least 10cm of snow for it to consider closing.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Not UK but in Ireland for wind and snow, all it takes to close schools with the current system is a red warning. 8cm accumulations is the minimum red criteria for snow and 130 kph gusts/80 kph sustained winds are the minimum red criteria for wind. 

Had school shut on 16 October 2017 for Ophelia and the next day too for supposed damage clean ups - it was the nicest day all month. Then 28 February to 2 March 2018 had schools shut too. Some places stayed shut for longer including 5 March due to deeper depths. 

Before that, only had schools closing where I am over weather in January 2010 and November/December 2010 but for very long periods of time. Think parts of the west had schools close on 14 January 2015 due to a red wind warning. 

Edited by BruenSryan
Link to post
Share on other sites

I went all the way until year 10 (2008-09) without my primary schools or secondary school ever closing due to weather. It closed during snow in December 2008 and then again in January 2010. I was in sixth form in December 2010 and I think it also closed for a few days in the first week that month. Not sure since but I think we had a load of closures during March 2018. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember a few secondary school closures in the mid 90s all on account of snow. There used to be a roll call, and we were always the last to be sent home because we could walk, whereas everyone else relied on cars or buses. First on the roll call were kids who lived in the Langdale valley, followed by Coniston, Hawkshead, Troutbeck, Ambleside, Staveley, Crosthwaite, Windermere - usually in that order. It would usually be snowing heavily by the time we were sent home, drifting and deep snow on the pavements. Remember the 22nd or 23rd Feb 94 vividly in this respect. 

Longest we closed for was a week, sent home lunchtime 5 Feb 96, I think it was half term following week, so nearly 2 weeks.

I know in Dec 2010 many schools in the NE closed for a week, 29 Nov week. Also first week back in Jan 2010 many schools were closed for a week.

In recent years it has been flooding that has forced schools to close.. roads around here are susceptible to major flooding, and this is only likely to become a common feature..

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, snow is rare as hens teeth here in Plymouth, so it takes very little. Even back in the winters of 1984 through to 1987 it took more. Mind you back then, if the Dockyard closed early, that was it- one out all out! That was back when dockyard had 20k workers so the City would grind to a halt. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost every winter throughout the 80's saw my secondary school either close down or shut early to send the kids back home - this was for proper snowfall accumulations of several inches (not

like the dustings that shut schools nowadays). The school catchment area stretched across several valleys and so many school coaches had to travel across the A465 (Heads of the Valleys)

dual carraigeway (highest point 1,350ft asl) which was completely exposed, at that altitude dangerous whiteout conditions for driving occur almost every year.

Light dustings of snow were never enough to shut the schools down back then - the school yard(s) & sports fields stayed open for PE lessons and ,during breaktimes we played on the ice or comapcted snow trying to 'outskid' each other in full view

of the teachers on patrol duty 🙂

 

Edited by Arch Stanton
Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to school in the 80s and early 90s in Surrey and only twice do I remember school closing due to the weather. On the day of the Burns' Day storm on 25th January 1990 we were sent home early because of the weather. I still think it odd that they closed the school and sent us home, me on foot, during a dangerous storm.

The only other occasion the school closed was in February 1991. I think we were sent home early on Thursday 7th because of the snow and it remained closed on the Friday by which time the snow was about 9 inches deep.

I don't recall school closing in January 1987. I think we had about a foot of snow or as I remember it being to the top of my wellies on the playing field. The school just had a snowman building competition. It stayed open the day after the 'hurricane' in October that year. Although I was one of the few to turn up as our town was cut off and there was no power.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Going to school in the highest town in Lancashire during the late 60’s and throughout the 70’s there were days where heavy snow meant that those who relied on buses could finish early but us who only relied on feet alone always stopped until the death.

i can’t remember having a single day off due to bad weather but times and attitudes change so during a particularly snowy spell in Jan 2010 my daughter had a full week off from high school.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, mr.splinter said:

I went to school in the 80s and early 90s in Surrey and only twice do I remember school closing due to the weather. On the day of the Burns' Day storm on 25th January 1990 we were sent home early because of the weather. I still think it odd that they closed the school and sent us home, me on foot, during a dangerous storm.

The only other occasion the school closed was in February 1991. I think we were sent home early on Thursday 7th because of the snow and it remained closed on the Friday by which time the snow was about 9 inches deep.

I don't recall school closing in January 1987. I think we had about a foot of snow or as I remember it being to the top of my wellies on the playing field. The school just had a snowman building competition. It stayed open the day after the 'hurricane' in October that year. Although I was one of the few to turn up as our town was cut off and there was no power.

I remember that very cold week in January 1987, starting the 12th, seemed to coincidence with a bout of colds as well, remember being one of only five out of about 35 kids in my class at school. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...