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Friday, 15 September, 2000, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
School closures worsen in fuel crisis
Petrol shortage
The number of closed schools has more than doubled
The fuel shortage has forced more schools than ever to close - with forecasts of worse to follow next week.

The Department for Education says that there are 131 schools closed in England on Friday - affecting more than one in 10 local education authorities.

School closures
131 closed on Friday (56 on Thursday)
71 'mainstream' schools
60 schools for special needs
19 local authorities affected

Source: Department for Education
This is more than double the official school closure figure of 56 schools closed on Thursday - but remains a small proportion of the total of 24,000 schools.

But an education department spokesman warned that the problem could get worse next week, before fuel stocks are returned to normal.

Among the closures are 60 schools for children with special needs - but these are expected to be helped to open next week by special schools being given priority status in the allocation of fuel.

The Department for Education is still urging schools to make every effort to stay open - asking teachers to car-share and use alternative means of transport.

Among the areas currently affected are Warwickshire, Gloucestershire and Birmingham - and seven schools in Wakefield in West Yorkshire are expecting to remain closed all next week.

In Wales, in Rhondda Cynon Taff, thousands of pupils have been unable to attend to school for past three days - as 18 secondary and five primary schools were closed.

As well as the fuel shortage affecting school transport, schools have been forced to close by factors such as a lack of available teachers, health and safety requirements for staffing levels and problems with school meals.

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14 Sep 00 | Education
Fuel shortage shuts more schools
15 Sep 00 | UK
UK faces more fuel misery
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