Should we send our kids to school in the snow?

It has been the question on everybody’s mind when they have woken in the mornings this week – will the kids school be open? Every morning I have woken up, looked out of the window and started the repeated refreshing of the school Facebook site and website to see whether the school will be open. But it’s not as straightforward as that, if the school is open, then I need to make a decision about whether to take Bean to school or not.

On Friday we had snow, the school closed. Hooray Snow Day! Jelly Baby’s nursery was open and she missed her last settling in day but I wasn’t bothered at her missing one day – this was her first play in the snow!

Monday came, the roads were better where we live so off we drove to school. It is only a 7 minute drive but school is up a hill, as we got nearer I realised how much worse the roads were up there. The school car park was a sheet of ice. Literally.

I had figured as the school was open the grounds must be ok. Clearly not. I didn’t have my wellies on and Bean was just in school shoes so we struggled, slipping and sliding with the pushchair through the snow and ice to the school. I was fuming. In my opinion the car park and road to the school was so treacherous the school should have been closed. I thought that at any moment a car would lose control and slide into us. Hubby came back from work early to pick Bean up so I wouldn’t have to endanger poor Jelly Baby.

On Tuesday I kept Bean off. I wasn’t doing that again. Last night it snowed heavily again. Guess what – the school was still open – the advice this time was that the whole area was icy so park on the main road and walk in. Oh and they might close early. Seriously?! So today she stayed home again. The school were very sniffy about it.

So I am torn, I feel guilty that she is missing school. But she is 5, she is hardly going to miss anything groundbreaking. I rate education highly but it still comes after the health and safety of my children. I understand that some parents work and that it is a huge inconvenience when the school is closed, but then children are an inconvenience! Putting people and children in danger on treacherous roads travelling to school just isn’t worth it.

I understand that people get frustrated that the country grinds to a halt after a little snow, but until our cars have the appropriate tyres, until the roads are fully gritted and until it is SAFE to travel, we should not. In 2011 my husband crashed our car in the snow. He lost control, it wouldn’t brake and he hit a van, a lamp-post and a house when the car went into a crazy spin. He was ok, and luckily no-one was hurt, but that was luck. He was returning from dropping Bean at school – he had gone because I was heavily pregnant. That could have been me – that could have injured the unborn Jelly Baby, it could have hurt a pedestrian. It’s just not worth it.

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