Dependable Erection

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Not just Durham

Parents, business leaders and education campaigners last night condemned the decision to close 8,000 schools across the UK yesterday even though the snowy conditions gripping the country eased in some areas.

The anger was most acute in cities where every school was shut. Birmingham and Bradford closed all their schools only to find that the weather was nowhere near as severe as had been expected, a move that left thousands of families struggling to cope with emergency childcare.

Jim Knight, the schools minister, said he hoped all schools in Britain would reopen today and warned that if classes were cancelled too quickly the message that every lesson counts would be diluted.

. . .

Privately council officials admitted it was embarrassing that heavy falls did not materialise but in public, the Local Government Association defended the decisions, arguing that parents preferred to know early whether schools were opening. All schools in Surrey were closed, along with more than 100 each in West Sussex and Kent and dozens in London, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

Denise Craig, policy manager for the West Midlands Federation of Small Businesses, said: "Small businesses are disproportionately hit when the schools close because many of their workers are parents forced to take a day off to look after children."

Margaret Morrissey, of the Parents Outloud campaign group, said: "We are giving children the message that when things get difficult you should just stay at home and have fun."

Although i have to confess i've never heard a school superintendent, principal, or senior administrator quite make the claim that they were concerned that "the message that every lesson counts would be diluted," if classes were canceled. At least, not in North Carolina.



  • I don't know why Yankees have such a hard time understanding this. Snow is such a rare event down here that when the kids are in school, you can't get them to focus while it's snowing anyway. When I was growing up, the teachers would just give up and let us all run to the window and watch it until the dismissal call eventually came.

    Yes, I realize that a snow day in the northeast makes about as much sense as a rain day. Yes, if we really needed to, we could get by without canceling schools. But why be such a damned killjoy about it?

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 6:49 PM  

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