Friday, February 6, 2009
FUN IN THE SNOW
Monday's snow was a novelty for many of our children, as it is 18 years since we last had enough snow for them to build snowmen and have toboggan rides. In Bedfordshire we had several snowfalls of 4-6 inches and the older children and their parents have loved playing in it, although little ones quickly get cold.
Some Bedfordshire schools stayed open on Monday and Tuesday, including Elstow and Wilstead Lower Schools and Abbey Middle, but others closed at the first sight of snow. Teachers have had several paid days off pay while thousands of children missed
up to a week's schooling, creating major problems for working parents across the country.
Unfortunately after 4/5 days off school the novelty wears off. In Canada where snow falls often in winter the children have "snow days" which are added on to the school term in June so that their education is not disrupted. An idea which the British could copy?
Many adults, including me, can work from home using their home computers but for others who do not get paid for not being at work like the self employed, shop assistants and many other private sector workers, several days off means lost wages -and many families are already struggling financially with the credit crunch.
Maybe the Government and Local Authorities should learn from the experience of other countries who regularly suffer severe winter weather, like Canada, Russia and Scandinavia, and develop better crisis management skills, so that London and the rest of the country do not grind to a halt whenever we have snow.