With parts of England and Wales experiencing snow and icy conditions over the past few days, we look at the effect of snow days on learning and teaching. 

The decision to close a school due to severe weather conditions such as snow is never taken lightly. The DfE advises that schools should stay open as long as possible, although closing may be necessary if safety is at risk. Ultimately, the decision lies with the head teacher, with the aim of reopening as soon as possible if the decision is to close. 

Last January, the BBC reported on a Harvard academic, Professor Joshua Goodman, who asserted that school closures due to bad weather did not have a negative impact on pupils’ learning. The article also stated that rather than the problem being the closure of schools, the most disruption to learning was caused by schools attempting to stay open when many pupils and staff are unable to make it in due to road closures and unsafe conditions.

The importance lies in having a clear procedure for all eventualities, ensuring communication between staff, pupils and teachers. This can be supported by having systems in place such as:

  • A text alert service
  • Updating the school website
  • Providing updates through a school social media account such as twitter
  • Ensuring local radio stations are kept up to date

Can learning still take place if a school has to close? With EDLounge, staff can assign lessons to pupils to complete off-site, which may be a useful option to ensure students can still complete meaningful work when they can’t make it into school. If you would like more information about how EDLounge can be used off-site, contact us on 01909 568 338.

Share your experiences of school closures due to snow in the comments below.