My wee Mini Cooper navigated the river of brown sludge that is Great Western Road before nine this morning. Drivers needed to be particularly vigilant as they glided along. As well as all the usual hazards -black ice, idiots with skyscrapers of snow atop their cars, there were very young teenagers everywhere. They cavorted on traffic islands and skytted across slippery roads the way kids do in the snow, oblivious to danger. Most Glasgow parents did not hear until 8.30 this morning that all the city's schools were to close. Many kids had already arrived. This included the children of the council's deputy leader who was a guest on Call Kaye and didn't sound too happy that his teenager was still not home. At least his director didn't discriminate. But is this the best planning Glasgow could manage? The schools were open Monday and Tuesday when the weather was even worse. If problems were identified yesterday officials had all night to make and publicise the decision. All the private schools in the city are open, along with hospitals, supermarkets, restaurants and everything else. The buses are running if you cannot drive and the main routes are gritted. When my daughter had a dance exam on Sunday afternoon, there was no way we could get the car out, so we wrapped up, loaded the pointe shoes et al into a baby bath sledge, trekked for nearly an hour till we got to Yorkhill.
But it seems that some folk are made of less stern stuff than us ballet mums. Glasgow's sudden schools closures sounded like a bit of a duvet day to many of the listeners who called Kaye, especially the older people who remembered going to school "even when you had to brush snaw aff the lavvy seats"
Not sure I'd wish that on the kids. But Glasgow's decision exposes the pointlessness of having a large education bureacracy trying to justify its existence.What purpose do they serve? Did the timing and manner of today's decision show the sort of leadership/managerial skills you expect from folk of six figure salaries? Why not leave it to individual head teachers to make decisions about their own schools?
What is unforgiveable is the timing, which left many kids to make their own way home. Yet one of the reasons given for school closures is that the children and staff cannot make safe journeys.
"Our decision to close schools was taken in the interests of the safety of both children and staff," said a council spokesperson.
"We announced the decision as quickly as possible once problems caused by the adverse weather came to light this morning."
They have only just noticed?!?
The spokesperson added: "The safety of children and staff must come first."