Page last updated at 19:15 GMT, Monday, 2 February 2009

Round-up of UK school closures

A child enjoys the snow in Camberley, Surrey
Pupils have been making the most of their snowy day off

Thousands of schools across Britain have been closed because of the snow driving in from the east.

A decision on whether any school should close is usually taken by individual head teachers and the government said it expected them to take a common sense approach.

In some cases their hands were forced by the lack of public transport. In some areas, further closures on Tuesday are already predicted.

With London one of the worst hit areas, a speech on education by Conservative leader David Cameron had to be moved to Tory campaign headquarters because his school venue was shut.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) in England, said: "We would hope head teachers can keep schools open while it is safe for them to do so, but decisions about closure have to be taken locally by those who know the local conditions."

She added: "Parents should call their child's school, or the local authority (LA) if they can reach no-one at the school. Most LAs will also have information on their website."

In some places, such as Kent - which was badly hit early on - the arrangement is that schools contact local radio stations directly.


The county council's website in Kent collapsed under the strain of people seeking information. Some 294 schools in Kent and Medway were closed.

All Surrey schools - more than 280 - closed.

East and West Sussex - 304 closed.

Some 255 Berkshire schools closed. In Hampshire, 60 were listed as closed by the county council.

In Buckinghamshire, 218 schools were shut and in Hertfordshire about 181. The council there said decisions often depended on whether enough teachers were able to get to the school to ensure pupil safety.

"Some might be able to open, others nearby might be forced to close," it said.

This upset some children who found their schools were among a handful in an entire area that remained open - so they had to go to classes while friends played in the snow.

Schoolchildren take advantage of a day off in Woodford Green, Essex
Child's play in Essex

Suffolk County Council reported 157 schools closed, while in Essex more than 475 are shut and in Norfolk, 89 schools closed (48 primary and 41 secondary).

Oxfordshire - 42 closed. The council also noted that Sonning Common School would be closed "due to adverse weather conditions" on Tuesday.

The impact lessened westwards following the general pattern of snowfall, so in Gloucestershire only 22 schools closed, Wiltshire - 32, Dorset - 48.

Cambridgeshire - 15 schools closed; Northamptonshire - three schools closed; Warwickshire - 13 schools closed; Worcestershire - four; Herefordshire - five; Shropshire - 20 schools closed (14 primary and six secondary); and Staffordshire - seven.

Birmingham - all the city's schools will be closed on Tuesday.

Leicestershire and Rutland gave pupils at 200 schools the day off.

Cheshire - just four closed. Derbyshire - 26; Lincolnshire - 34 primary and 16 secondary schools, two nurseries and two special schools closed, making 54 in all.

East Yorkshire - 29 primary schools, six secondary schools, two special schools and one nursery closed (38 altogether).

In West Yorkshire more than 300 were closed and in North Yorkshire 116 (90 primary schools and 26 secondary).

Lancashire - 11 primary schools and five secondary schools, while in Cumbria 131 were shut.

Greater Manchester - at least 60 schools closed on Monday, with more closures expected on Tuesday.

Northumberland saw 53 schools closed, County Durham - 37 (29 primary schools and six secondary and two nurseries).


Barking and Dagenham said that all children's centres, infant and junior schools in the borough were closed - which is more than 65 in total.

Barnet said it expected all its centres - more than 100 - to be closed because of the lack of buses.

In Bexley - "many" closed; Brent - 21 listed as closed.

Bromley, which has 17 secondary and 66 primary plus other centres, said: "Due to major disruption to transport in and around the borough, the majority of our schools have been unable to provide sufficient staff to be able to operate satisfactorily."

In keeping with a number of other authorities, it added: "We are monitoring the situation and will provide an update as soon as we know the likely position for tomorrow 3 February."

Camden knew of 57 that were closed and said others might also be.

A spokesperson from the local authority in Croydon, which has more than 100 schools, said: "Due to the adverse weather conditions, it is likely that all Croydon schools are closed. Parents should use schools' websites and tune into local radio for more information."

Ealing - listed 11 as definitely closed but said many others were likely to have been affected.

"Parents are asked to call the school to check whether it is open before sending children in," said a spokesperson.

Enfield - 22 shown as being closed.

A mother and daughter build a snow man in Kensington Gardens , London
School closures also meant many parents had to take the day off too

Greenwich - 44 closed and now that many schools operate extended services for the community, the council noted that all after-school clubs would be closed.

Hackney Learning Trust said 61 primary and secondary schools were closed along with all children's centres and special schools. It knew already of four schools that would be closed on Tuesday.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council said: "Due to extreme weather conditions, it has become necessary for the majority of our schools to shut. Please follow any instructions you have received from your school." It has more than 54 schools, nurseries and referral units.

Haringey listed 97 closures.

Harrow said 66 of its education centres were closed and the severe weather led to the postponement of it UK Youth Parliament election result and the launch of the new Harrow Youth Parliament.

Havering - 16 primary and 7 secondary schools closed.

Hillingdon - 52 primary schools and 23 secondary schools closed but two primaries and one secondary open.

Hounslow - 28 primary and nine secondary schools closed; Islington - 40 schools closed.

Kensington & Chelsea - no information available.

Kingston-upon-Thames - 28 primary schools and 15 secondary schools closed but three or four primaries open.

Lambeth - 23 primary schools and four secondary schools and two special schools closed.

Lewisham - 31 primary schools and 16 secondary schools and five special schools closed.

All the schools in Merton - more than 56 - were closed. Newham - no information available.

Redbridge - 44 primary schools and 14 secondary schools closed. Richmond-upon-Thames - all but six schools closed.

Southwark - 17 primary schools and nine secondaries and three nurseries closed.

Sutton, all schools - more than 50 - closed. Tower Hamlets - no information available.

Waltham Forest - all but two schools closed, along with all 40 schools in Wandsworth and all the schools in Westminster, more than 60 of them.


About 60 schools across Scotland have been directly affected.

The majority of the 19 Dumfries and Galloway school closures were in the eastern part of the region.

In the Borders 32 primaries, four secondaries and three nurseries were shut.

Fife Council reported four primary school and three nursery closures, and Falkirk, three centres.


In Bridgend, two schools were closed, 22 in Carmarthenshire and seven in Denbighshire.

Two closed in Gwynedd, and in Merthyr Tydfil there were 24 schools and other learning centres shut.

Monmouthshire - just one; in Powys, 31 shut; and in Rhondda Cynon Taf, 16 closed all day and five more from lunchtime.

In Swansea, two shut and Swansea College's evening classes were cancelled.

Three shut in Torfaen and one in Wrexham.

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