A couple of inches of snow and schools across the country close. My memory, which I admit may be faulty, is that my schools never closed because of snow. We just pulled on our wellies and trudged to school.
Why this change?
opobs (from whom I have borrowed my illustration, which comes originally from Friends Reunited), discussing his own youth in the 1950s, offers one explanation:
Back in my school days we knew where all the teachers lived, they were all local and part of our community, they all walked to school, indeed, only the headmaster had a car and there was a special place in the playground for him to park; one or two of the teachers lived out of town and they came in by bus or train, but they were an exception, so in the snow nearly all the teachers could get into work.I suspect, too, that more children travel long distances to school nowadays because of our emphasis on choice. Add to that the expansion of car ownership and parents' unwillingness to allow children to walk to school and you see why there is more pressure to close schools.
Maybe this is sensible and it is silly to complain about the modern mania for elf 'n safety. But one thing worries me.
In the Tony Blair years the airwaves were full of politicians and headteachers telling us how dreadful truancy is and how parents must be prosecuted because children never recover from missing even a single day of school.
I suspect that much the same people are telling us this week that it is perfectly reasonable for schools to close for the day at the first sign of appreciable snowfall. They have a duty of care to the teachers who work in them, after all.
Why, it's almost as if public services are run for the benefit of those working in them rather than for that of the wider public!