A number of schools have been forced to close for a second day due to bad weather, after significant snowfall on Sunday.
Schools were shut in counties including Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Devon, Essex, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Suffolk, Sussex and Wiltshire.
Snow and ice weather warnings were extended across the UK after the record for the coldest night of the year was broken for the second night in a row on Monday.
Here’s what we know about schools reopening tomorrow.
Will schools be closed tomorrow?
It is up to individual schools to decide whether to close due to bad weather.
The Government’s Education Hub states: “Decisions will be made locally based on common sense and there are a large range of things that schools will consider – including but not limited to: staffing levels (if transport issues prevent teachers from getting to work, for example), safety conditions around the school, temperatures in school buildings and more.”
The best way to check if your school has closed is to check with the school directly, on your local council’s website. You can find your local council’s website by entering your postcode into the Government site here.
Schools that are closing should have informed parents and guardians that they are shutting for the day, either by email, via a notice on their website, or through another messaging service, but you can call the school if you are unsure.
Could extra school days be added?
The boss of the schools watchdog has said ministers should consider adopting the US practice of adding on an extra day of lessons if schools are forced to close due to bad weather.
Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman told Times Radio: “We know from the pandemic experience that remote learning isn’t terribly effective, that most children learn a lot less than they would in school and some children learn nothing at all.
“So for me, really, a school needs to be open or closed. In America, they add a day on later on in the school year, if they close for a snow day when transport isn’t possible. It really is important that the default is keeping schools open. Obviously, there are circumstances in which that isn’t possible.”
Asked if she thinks all schools should do that, she replied: “Well, that would be a decision for ministers. But children have lost a lot of education. For me, it’s really important making sure that children get their full time in education so they can get the benefit of it.”
Ms Spielman published her annual report on education and social care on Tuesday, and described ongoing school absences as a “deep and concerning problem”.
She warned that a minority of families appear to have “lost sight” of the expectation that children should be sent out every morning to be educated in person, after school closures amid the pandemic broke down the structure and routine of “getting children up and to school every day”.
The Government leaves it up to individual schools and local authorities to decide what to do in adverse weather conditions and says it is confident action is based on a common-sense approach.
Schools which temporarily close during severe weather are advised to consider providing remote learning in line with Department for Education guidance.
What is the Met Office weather forecast?
Tuesday evening and night
Occasional rain, sleet and snow across south-west England at times. Elsewhere, clear spells, but further snow showers affecting northern Scotland and north-east England. A few freezing fog patches in central areas and a widespread frost, locally severe over snow cover.
Rain, sleet and snow across the south-west probably pulling away to the south. Otherwise sunny spells and wintry showers, mainly in coastal areas. Windy in places, accentuating the cold feel.
Thursday to Saturday
Remaining very cold for most, with further wintry showers, along with sharp overnight frosts and a risk of ice. Some wetter weather affecting north-western areas on Friday and Saturday.