So... we're officially three days into The Great British Winter of 2009 (which no doubt will go down in the history books at this rate), and... the children are still off school. Yesterday eagle eyed news viewers might have noticed that Surrey was one of the few local authorities which closed ALL its schools. We did have a lot of snow. I know this. And conditions were very treacherous yesterday (we got stuck in Sainsbury's car park - of which more later...), so I can just about cope with them not having gone back yesterday, as even Spouse didn't make it in which is incredibly rare (He has also just rung to say it's taken him two hours to get a mile away from where he works, so conditions still aren't good). But... THREE days off school??? With more snow predicted today/tomorrow that probably wipes out this week then.(Incidentally, only 96 schools in the country remain closed. It would be my luck to have children in three of them...)
My spies close to the school tell me that there has been no attempt to even clear a path in the snow (they do have a live in caretaker who presumably has spent the last two days sledging on the Downs like the rest of the world), so OF COURSE they can cite Elf and Safety as a reason why the kids can't go in. The fact that the majority of children can walk into school is neither here nor there, apparently. Most of the staff allegedly can't get in. Given that, in the junior school, we have already lost seven days to the flood this term (I have just worked out that the kids have been in for twelve days and off for ten) on top of the three days they lost last summer thanks to the building work, you'll forgive me for being slightly cynical about the commitment of the school to actually opening at all in the event of any untoward circumstances. What riles me most is if I took the kids out of school for this amount of time they'd probably have me investigated by social services. As it is, the ONLY time I've ever taken them out for a day I wasn't allowed to. (Guess who might be doing it more in the future).
I do understand that this week has seen an Extreme Weather Event etc, etc. But... I fear my children are being sent a very bad message about not perservering when things are difficult. Given that the world they are growing up in is rapidly changing, and they may face a more hostile economic climate even then we did growing up in the eighties recession, I think this is a very bad thing. We recently attended a meeting at no 1's school where the head talked about preparing our children for a world which is changing so fast it's almost impossible to keep up. She played this rather sobering video highlighting the competition they're likely to face. I don't suppose in China or India kids don't go to school when there's an Extreme Weather Event - they probably walk miles to get there anyway. Our children should be encouraged to too.
On the other hand. The children did learn how to make an igloo...