Page last updated at 14:48 GMT, Tuesday, 3 February 2009

School snow closure move defended

Boy in the snow
Schools in the Scottish Borders are shut due to the snow

A council in south east Scotland has explained to "frustrated" parents why it took the decision to shut all the schools under its control.

Scottish Borders Council decided on Monday afternoon to close all 74 schools in the area.

However, the heavy snow falls forecast for the region did not materialise.

The council said the decision was "based on available information" and that the welfare of children and staff travelling to school was a priority.

About half of the area's schools were closed on Monday and a bad weather forecast prompted SBC to shut all schools on Tuesday.

However, it appears that the area has missed the major snow falls which had been predicted.

It is now expected that the schools will open as normal again on Wednesday.

Education Director Glenn Rodger said the council had little choice but to shut the schools.

"The decision to close all schools within the Borders was made yesterday based on the severe weather warning issued for the Scottish Borders from the Met Office," he said.

Complex issues

He said it had indicated snow would continue through the night and would be particularly severe at the time people were making the school run in the morning.

Mr Rodger said: "Making an early decision enabled us to give parents time to make childcare arrangements and, in addition, help us resolve complex transport and catering issues.

"We understand parents are frustrated that the forecasts turned out to be wrong, but based on available information the risks were considered too high.

"The care and welfare of children and staff travelling to school is SBC's priority in this type of situation."

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