I am very childish when it comes to snow – I just love it! I do get very excited, and so I was last night when I looked up from writing and found the world outside was covered with a white blanket. This morning getting ready to go out early we heard that the local junior school was closed because of the snow… which was a few inches thick in our little village, no more than that. I couldn’t believe it, it seemed ludicrous! Shut for a few soggy inches – no driving blizzard, and as I looked I noticed the trees were already dripping somewhat as it began to melt. Our little village is not out in the middle of nowhere; it’s just south of Weston-super-Mare, separated from the town by a golf course, school playing fields, actual fields and the hill The main road going south used to wind through the coastal village, but now it is bypassed; the village is small so it’s easy to get in (and apart from people parking carelessly) easy to exit.
So why was the school closed and all the schools in the town apparently? Do the children flood in from the countryside and might have difficulty coming in, or later on, going home? No. Some may do, but usually with junior schools in particular, the catchment area is quite small and local. Many children walk to school… so why close them?
I don’t know if this is true but this is what a serving teacher told me… Schools are under such pressure to perform well in every area, targets are set for everything imaginable, including attendance. If schools stay open when it’s snowy some children might be kept at home – this means attendance figures go down, this affects other performance targets. So if schools are closed then there are no attendance figures to be affected by inclement weather. I don’t know if this is true… It seems ridiculous, doesn’t it?
I’m glad I’m no longer a teacher, having a broad and balanced curriculum seems to have gone right out of the window… now it’s all about targets and testing… A farmer I once knew made a wise comment:”You don’t fatten a pig by keep weighing it!”