Why were schools shut for four days?

Bridlington Late winter snow scenes. Pictures by Paul Atkinson: NBFP PA1809-5k Sewerby Park & Hall
Bridlington Late winter snow scenes. Pictures by Paul Atkinson: NBFP PA1809-5k Sewerby Park & Hall

Schools have been defending their decisions to stay closed for much of last week as the Beast From The East hit Bridlington with a vengeance.

Bridlington School and Headlands School pupils enjoyed four days off, but there was less disruption at primary schools in the town - with New Pasture Lane and Our Lady and St Peter’s managing to open every day.

The secondary schools said the number of staff who lived out of Bridlington and could not travel to work had been a key factor, although East Riding College did not close at all.

In a letter to parents, Headlands headteacher Sarah Bone said: “Trust me, it is never an easy decision to make and I appreciate the support and understanding my team and I continue to have from the parents of children who attend Headlands School.”

She said 90% of staff travel from more than 10 miles away and half have a commute of more than 25 miles.

She added: “Whilst in Bridlington the weather may be ‘light’ snow which does not appear “severe,” many Headlands School staff travel from North Yorkshire, East Riding and the centre of Hull. Often they have very different weather, and in turn very different travel conditions.”

She added that a fifth of students use public transport to lessons and 5% travel more than 20 miles to attend classes each day, some being picked up at 7.30am.

Mrs Bone said that decisions had to be made early so that all the parties who needed to know about the closures were aware in good time.

She said texts had to be sent to parents and colleagues, notices placed on the school website and messages sent to media outlets, the council and the catering services team.

“This whole process can take approximately 40 minutes and requires technology to also be on our side,”