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Schools ‘should close quickly in bad weather’ call

Schools should be more proactive in closing for bad weather, say the SSTA. Picture: TSPL

Schools should be more proactive in closing for bad weather, say the SSTA. Picture: TSPL

  • by CHRIS MARSHALL
 

SCOTLAND’S schools should be closed more quickly in adverse weather conditions and teachers allowed to work from home, a teachers’ union has claimed.

The Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) said one of its members had recently had a “lucky escape” after being involved in a fatal road accident on the way to school in West Lothian earlier this month.

THE SSTA said there was “excessive pressure” on councils to keep schools open during wintry weather and called on the Scottish Government to review the current procedures.

Alan McKenzie, the union’s acting general secretary, said: “Many people will have viewed with some horror the widely distributed news picture of the overturned tanker in West Lothian involving the tragic death of the tanker driver.

“What will not be known is that one of the motor vehicles upon which the tanker overturned was driven by a member of the SSTA anxiously driving to his school.

“Our member’s escape from this tragedy was lucky. However, we believe that there is excessive pressure on councils to keep schools open when closure would be the safer option. We need some pragmatic decision making process where, in circumstances of obvious danger, schools can be shut and the workforce kept safe without the threat of losing pay.

“Teachers can perform key functions at home and employers can ensure this. It is perhaps stating the obvious, but the safety of the workforce must take precedence over the fear of announcing that a school has closed due to abnormal weather conditions.”

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