Putting families and staff first when we close schools

Education Convener Councillor Ian Perry writes about how decisions are reached when closing schools.

Closing just one school for a day is not a decision anyone takes lightly so Tuesday night’s move to close all our schools was taken after much consideration.

Always at the forefront of all our planning is the health and safety of our pupils, staff and parents/carers. The advice we received from the Met Office, Police Scotland and the Scottish Government on Tuesday night was that travel into and within the amber weather warning areas was a risk for anyone making those journeys – that was a message we could not ignore.

With the red weather warning issued yesterday by the Met Office for Edinburgh and surrounding region we kept our schools, nurseries and early years centres closed today and they will remain closed tomorrow.

We recognise that parents and carers appreciate the earliest possible notice of any potential closure and of course we need to balance that with changing circumstances that might result in schools being able to open. The unique aspect of the weather warnings this time has shown that initially the forecast for severe weather was amber and was escalated yesterday to red during what would have been a school day. We anticipate that the weather warnings will be updated over the coming days and hopefully will indicate more settled circumstances. I expect that normal services will resume on Monday but should there be any need for further school closures these will be communicated direct to parents, via the Council website, social media channels and local radio stations.

And lastly can I thank all the Council staff, including our road services teams and health and sopcial care staff, and members of the public who have rallied round during this extreme weather situation to keep the city moving.

I would remind everyone to visit our website www.edinburgh.gov.uk/schoolclosures, listen to media broadcasts, especially local radio, visit the Traffic Scotland website, follow @edintravel and Police Scotland on Twitter to get the latest updates about the weather situation over the coming days.




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