Why some Sheffield schools closed during the snow but others stayed open

Families enjoy the weather in Hillsborough Park
Families enjoy the weather in Hillsborough Park

Dozens of Sheffield schools have been forced to close due to the snow - but why have some shut and others stayed open?

The main reason for a school to shut for a snow day is usually down to health and safety reasons, and in particular the safety of the pupils if they were to travel and be in classrooms.

Pupils arrive Lydgate Infants, Crosspool on Thursday

Pupils arrive Lydgate Infants, Crosspool on Thursday

Sheffield Council said it does not make the decision to shut schools during adverse weather.

Instead the decision is taken by headteacher of each individual school.

READ MORE: WEATHER WARNING: More snow for Sheffield TONIGHT

Schools assess an array of factors before deciding to close the school gates for the day.

The assessments include whether children can travel safely to and from school, the conditions of main roads, side roads as well as the pavements and paths leading up to the school grounds.

The school also looks at whether the site will remain safe throughout the day, if the weather is expected to get worse and if there enough first aiders for the number of children.

Most schools in Sheffield were forced to close on Thursday, while many have remained closed today.

Among the schools that stayed open on Thursday were Watercliffe Meadow, in Shirecliffe, Carterknowle and Holt House schools in Carterknowle, St Thomas of Canterbury in Chancet Wood, Lydgate Infant School in Crosspool, and Dobcroft Infant and Junior Schools, in Millhouses.

READ MORE: SNOW ALERT: Sheffield's hour-by-hour forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning

Executive headteacher at St Thomas of Canterbury, Andrew Truby, said every school is in a different position because of where staff live and the local roads.

He said: "Sometimes, the conditions outside can be so bad that it is too dangerous to travel at all, however we prefer parents and staff to make their own decision as everyone's journey is different.

"We have had members of staff coming in from Dore or Bamford on the train then walking a few miles. Many people walk in and just dress for the weather.

"Every school will be in a different position with where staff live and the local roads."

Watercliffe Meadow headteacher Ian Read said it was always a tricky decision to make with the key consideration always being the safety of children, parents and staff.

"As it has turned out it has felt like the right decision for our families and I can't thank staff enough for their commitment and willingness to provide a fantastic service for our families," he added.

Headteacher at Holt House and Carterknowle Schools Federation, Helen Haynes, said many of her staff live locally or live a short car drive away so were able to walk in this week.

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Others further away left their cars along the the journey and walked the rest of the way, while caretakers arrived at 7.30am.

Mrs Haynes added: "We have had lots of thanks from parents who have appreciated the schools staying open and we think our parents are fantastic, because they have not only got their children to school but helped them to dress up for World Book Day too.

"The usual lessons have been carrying on but we have also celebrated world book day and played in the snow.

"At Carterknowle the children have been out on the field, having a great time. Our only frustration is that this snow does not make good snowmen."