Friday, 3 December 2010

We never closed!

Like the old Windmill Theatre, which boasted that it never closed, even during the London Blitz, the sixth form where I work has not closed due to the current snowy conditions. We have very few staff, and not many students ... but we are still open.

Unlike the Windmill Theatre we don't have any nude or semi-nude young ladies standing around the place; instead, everyone seems to be clad from head to toe in thick coats, woollen jumpers, gloves, scarves, and hats.

It would appear that other than the private and selective schools in the area, we are the only post-sixteen education establishment that is open. I wonder why. No doubt someone, somewhere thinks that it is a good idea that we are open, but without enough staff to properly supervise the students, there is little work being done.

All-in-all, I think that we would have been better off staying at home, keeping warm, and preparing for the Ofsted visit ... but as I have written previously, strategic thinking of this sort takes place at a much higher pay grade than mine!


  1. Was your journey really neccessary? Clearly not. Shame it wasn't your decision to make. As luck would have it I had a quiet week anyway, so I've not had to cancel much.

  2. Bob,

    Just out of curiosity, how much snow does it take to induce schools in your neck of the woods to close? I grew up in Michigan, The Frozen North, where things didn't close down unless we received 24" or more. I now live in The Sunny South (Virginia), where a mere 2" is enough to close the schools! Crazy.

    Best Regards,


  3. Tim Gow,

    I started the day with one student, and by lunchtime a couple more of them had turned up ... but none of them was in a mood to do much work. I feel that I could have made better use of my time preparing for the Ofsted inspection rather than just babysitting my students.

    Was my journey necessary? No ... but at least I got paid, which is something. On the other hand, I could have spent my time doing wargaming-related things, which would have been much more enjoyable.

    All the best,


  4. Chris,

    We had between six to ten inches of snow fall where I live on top of one of the highest hills around London. The local council did not send out any gritter trucks until far too late, and by the then the roads were almost impassable to normal cars (they tended to build snow up in front of them until it got too much for them to push out of the way; they then stopped, usually in the middle of the road).

    The problem with school closures is due more to a lack of staff who can get to work (many of whom have to live away from where they work for economic reasons, and who have difficult or impossible journeys when the roads become covered in snow and ice) and to the inability of the local authorities to provide the necessary equipment to keep the roads near school passable. In my case, it is the first and last half miles of my journey that take the longest and are the most dangerous.

    All the best,



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