I sent this message last year after reading a tweet from Geoff Barton, wise words, thought it was relevant so here it is again.
The decision to close a school for any reason is the headteacher’s. It’s an example of where accountability lies firmly and unavoidably with us.
We know that, in those dark early hours when many people will still be sleeping, the decision we take we will be open to criticism. And so it will be today, with a familiar frenzy about lazy teachers, namby-pamby heads, and a nostalgic refrain about how schools didn’t close in the misty-eyed days of yesteryear.
So, for the record, let me describe how and why I took the decision not to open today.
My first responsibility therefore on a day like today is to make sure that the children and staff are safe. A number of our teachers travel more than twenty miles to work. I know that it looks fine in Greenfield but some staff have had a 2 hour drive to get to school while others have not made it out at all. I am truly sorry that I have put staff in a tricky position and the journey to school has been treacherous. We are lucky to have such a dedicated team.
I am always very conscious about the snow and check so many weather apps it is not real (all of which tell me a different thing).
I have 260 children and families and 50 staff to think about. Today we could not guarantee having sufficient teachers safely in school in time to cover all the classes.
I know that I will now spend the day questioning – and being questioned about – whether we made the right decision.
As the philosopher taught us: ‘the risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision’.
Today I did what my job requires. I took a decision.
Please stay safe.
Mr Cass, Headteacher