Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

Search

Ipswich: Schools praised for remaining open despite snowy conditions

06:00 22 January 2013

Sidegate Lane Primary School, Ipswich.

Sidegate Lane Primary School, Ipswich.

Archant

TEACHERS and pupils in Ipswich have been praised by the town’s MP after only six schools closed as a result of the adverse weather.

shares

Meanwhile, only one school in Felixstowe – Kingsfleet – failed to open yesterday because of the heavy snowfall.

The picture in Ipswich and Felixstowe was in stark contrast to the rest of Suffolk, which saw the closure of 203 schools – more than half of the county’s total.

Some schools opened later to give staff the opportunity to clear snow before students arrived – but the majority in the towns opened as normal.

The most significant closure was Westbourne Sports College which could not open because of fears for the safety of students and staff.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said he was delighted by the commitment shown by schools in his constituency (Westbourne is the neighbouring North Ipswich seat).

“We only had four schools that were closed in my constituency, and Beacon Hill has pupils from a wide area so it was understandable that it did not open.

“What is significant is that many of the staff for schools in Ipswich live outside the town – but they still managed to struggle through to work as normal.”

Schools in Suffolk have come under fire for under-performing, but Mr Gummer added: “That is a serious concern, but it has been clear to me that schools in Ipswich were better than elsewhere and the commitment shown by their staff during this time bears that out.”

Westbourne Headteacher Chris Edwards said the geography of the school site made it difficult to open until all the paths were cleared.

“We have several different blocks of buildings that we need to access, and go get to them there are paths on slopes,” he said.

“They are treacherous and it is not safe to open until the paths are clear.

“Because of when the snow fell it was not possible to get them cleared so I took the decision to close the school.”

He made the call at 7am yesterday to give parents the opportunity to make alternative arrangements – but was hopeful the school should open as normal today providing there was no further snow.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said it was doing all it could to encourage schools to open – and was offering support to many which were closed yesterday to ensure they are able to open today.

Did your local school battle to open during the snow? Do you want to pay tribute? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

shares

2 comments

  • I recently watched a programme on TV about the "BIG" freeze of 196263. I was at school then and remember having to walkcycle to school in feet of snow. I don't remember the schools closing - in fact there was a massive slide on the ice on the playground, supervised by teachers !

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • I have some sympathy with the argument that a lot of teachers tend to live further away from schools these days but its no reason to close them. Lessons of some kind could still be taught. At the very least I would have pupils in to help clear snow which in my view is a lesson in life skills & being a good citizen.

    Report this comment

    Chris D

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Poilce investigation work at the scene of the accident on the A12 at Martlesham Heath.

A 20-month-old little girl died on Friday afternoon after a crash on the A12 in Martlesham on Thursday.

Peppa Pig's Surprise

The half-term holiday is nearly here and Ipswich Borough Council has plenty of things to keep youngsters busy and active – whatever the weather.

The junior doctors strike at West Suffolk Hospital in bury.

A Suffolk hospital boss has denied supporting the imposing of a contract on junior doctors after his name appeared on the “key” letter that led to the decision.

Stock image of the area.

A teenage motorcyclist is in a critical condition in hospital after a two-vehicle crash in Ipswich last night.

The 30-acre Walton Green North field has been earmarked for housing by Suffolk Coastal.

Proposals have been put forward to build 385 new homes on the edge of Felixstowe – opposite another field where permission has been granted for 190.

Former footballer Marcus Bent. Pic: Steve Parsons/PA Wire.

Former Ipswich Town footballer Marcus Bent has escaped being sent to jail as he was sentenced for confronting two officers with a meat cleaver and a kitchen knife while in a “delusional” state under the influence of cocaine.

Collateral Drawing exhibition at UCS

Launch of `I Spy Drawing’ Family Art Club

Damaged Bus stop in Woodbridge Rd Ipswich

A 21-year-old man has been charged with drink-driving after a car crashed into a bus shelter on the outskirts of Ipswich town centre today.

UCS Clearing possible cover

Just a few months into their course they helped people with life-threatening conditions, unwell patients and, on one occasion, even helped to deliver a baby.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24