Sir—Apparently Sheffield City Council is considering requiring teachers to attend their nearest school in times of bad weather instead of their usual place of work.
I sincerely hope that Rotherham does not think that this is a feasible idea. This crackpot scheme was discussed many years ago and duly dismissed as being impossible for so many reasons.
Schools in the "better off" areas would end up being oversubscribed and the others would have insufficient staff to maintain a quorum.
Child safety would be seriously compromised, as identifying new staff that turn up out of the blue would present serious problems for the head teacher.
The newly-arrived teacher would have difficulties in identifying what work is required. As a result it would be of an unacceptable standard.
Keeping discipline in a class of "unknown quantities" would present more problems. All things considered this idea, like so many educational initiatives, belongs in the waste bin.
However, I do have a more practical solution which our own council might want to consider.
From an environmental viewpoint it seems ludicrous that we spend thousands of pounds maintaining classrooms in the winter, creating chaos for everyone in the process, and then closing them in spring and summer for long periods.
It would be far better if the Christmas break and February half-term break were both extended by one week. This would be compensated by reducing the spring bank break to just two bank holiday days and taking one week off the long summer holidays.
In addition to this if the weather was sufficiently poor the authority could declare a "snow day" and all schools would be closed for the day.
These extra days would be also taken off the 12 weeks holidays currently taken. Unfortunately, I have little faith that this idea will be adopted as, in my humble 30-plus-years experience, common sense is rarely used in matters pertaining to education.
Name and address supplied.