Are schools right to stay closed?

Many schools had nearly a full week added onto their Christmas holidays this week, but was it really necessary?

Health and safety was cited as the main reason for closures with teachers and pupils unable to get in.

However, one reader harked back to the sixties when she was able to get to Aylesbury despite huge snow drifts.

Looking back at what was happening then The Bucks Herald reported snow and ice for three weeks. On January 25 we reported: "At Broughton Pastures 35 degrees of frost (about minus 3/4 degrees celsius) was recorded.

"At Aston Clinton it was 34 degrees below and in many other places temperatures read 32 degrees below because the mercury could drop no further.

"With the severe frost came a series of grim news items. Two schools have been forced to close."

She said: "I remember the winter of 1963 when it snowed from Boxing Day until March 6.

"I lived in Winslow and got the bus in to work in Aylesbury every morning and the only way you could see over the snow was by sitting on the top deck."

Ickford School near Thame was one of the few schools that opened yesterday and instead of jumping on the health and safety bandwagon, they embraced the snowy conditions and let the children wrap up and have fun.

For a full list of Bucks schools that are closed today click here.

Marion Clayton, cabinet member for education at Bucks County Council, said that the decision was for individual head teachers.

She said: "A lot of people are saying 'when I was at school'. We have got to bear in mind the fact that things have changed since the 1960s, we have got people coming from different places often further than they were back then.

"The decision to close the school is taken by head teachers. They don't take this decision lightly, they don't do it unless they really have to do so.

"Children are travelling a long way to school, you might be able to get them to school but then what happens with getting the home again in the day if it deteriorates?

"It really has to be a bit of advance planning and in terms of making sure those pupils and staff are as safe as they can be, we've got to go on the side of caution."

We're interested in hearing your stories from school. Do you think it's a case of health and safety? Do you think teachers give up too easily?

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