NEALE-Wade Community College sparked outrage with parents today (Monday) by being the only school in the area not to open because of the weather.
The school’s blog was updated last night (Sunday) to update parents and carers of the situation and inform them of the closure, stating it had considered “all the heath and safety, transport and related issues extremely carefully”. It said staff would be working on the site to enable the college to open tomorrow (Tuesday).
But although the children were pleased to get an extra day off school, the decision did not sit well with everyone. There were also internal exams scheduled for today that had to be rearranged.
Parent Jonathan Huggins contacted the Citizen and said: “I can recall as a boy, my friends and I having to walk to school in bad weather. It may have taken an hour and we were late, but we made the effort and got there because we were expected to. Now whenever there is poor weather the schools close at the drop of a hat.
“Parents are often lectured on the importance of children going to school and if you take your child off for one day holiday in term time it is considered ‘unauthorised absence’. Well, I consider Monday’s closure to be unauthorised on the part of the school staff.”
On the school blog, there were mixed comments. ‘Sam’ said: “Health and Safety seems to be a blanket excuse for everyone not making too much effort these days.”
But ‘James’ countered this and said: “One day off will not harm anybody. It’s an inconvenience but I for one would rather a slight inconvenience then a potential, worst case, loss of a life. Remember the school is part building site as it is.”
However, the school was thanked for letting people know the day before the closure.
A spokesperson from Cambs County Council said the decision to close was the headteacher’s to make. Nobody was available at Neale-Wade to comment.