Snow weather forecast: when do the schools close?

A second severe weather warning for “persistent, heavy” snow was issued as Britain recorded its coldest March night in 13 years.

The Met Office warned of significant disruption to traffic, power lines and telephone network coverage, with the yellow alert covering much of Wales and the West Midlands until 9am on Friday. Flood warnings are also in place on the south coast of England and North Wales.

It follows earlier warnings of snowstorms across central and northern England, with warnings that parts of the UK could see up to 40cm of snow.

Wednesday was the coldest March night since 2010, when temperatures dropped to minus 16C overnight in Altnaharra in the Scottish Highlands.

Snow forced schools to close in parts of Devon, East and West Sussex, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire on Wednesday.

On snowy days, primary and secondary schools are advised by the government to make every effort to stay open.

Occasionally, however, schools may have to close or operate at reduced levels due to the weather, e.g. B. by suspending individual classes.

When would the wintry weather cause schools to close their doors? Here are the most important questions and answers:

Who decides whether schools need to be closed?

According to the Ministry of Education, it is up to individual municipalities to decide whether a closure is necessary based on their circumstances.

Typically, schools have tried and tested policies in place to help them deal with adverse weather conditions.

Snow on the A69 Newcastle to Hexham in January


How should schools and councils inform parents?

Schools will have their own approaches to getting in touch with parents. In many cases they have their own apps and/or messaging services.

Headmasters will try to inform parents as early as possible but sometimes decisions are made quite late as circumstances change.

What should schools consider when deciding whether to close?

The government says local decision-making should be based largely on common sense.

But there are a variety of things schools will consider, including staffing levels (if, for example, transportation problems prevent teachers from getting to work), safety conditions around the school, temperatures in school buildings, and failures in heating systems.

Drivers have been warned to allow extra time for their Monday morning commute due to the icy condition of the roads in January


How cold does it have to be for schools to close?

The Education (School Premises) Regulations Act (1999) requires all school buildings to have a heating system to heat the premises to the appropriate temperature.

If the temperature outside the school is -1°C or below, the building’s heating system should be able to reach the following temperatures at a height of 0.5 m from the floor.

  • 21°C in areas with less physical activity such as hospital rooms or isolation rooms
  • 18C in areas for teaching, self-study or exams
  • 15°C in areas with above-average physical activity such as physical education classrooms, washrooms, sleeping quarters and circulation areas Snow weather forecast: when do the schools close?

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