On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

This week: snow-day Scrooges

Days off school when it snows are a hallowed tradition. Most of us have happy memories of the moment we learned that school was closed for the day because our teachers "simply couldn't make it in". And we are surely all nostalgic for the chilly rush of an impromptu snowball fight or a snowman-building session, safe in the knowledge that we had got away with not completing our homework.

In recent years, it does seem as if schools in Britain close rather frequently. School leaders are more safety-conscious than ever before, and an icy car park is sometimes enough to shut a school. Nonetheless, these days are valuable to our cultural heritage (they are!) and only curmudgeonly bores would deny children the fun of the occasional snowy day off. Unfortunately, these curmudgeonly bores exist. A small group of British politicians wants to introduce a new law to force principals to open schools in bad weather.

Thankfully, the idea - proposed by MPs in an alternative and somewhat satirical Queen's Speech - is unlikely to be enacted. But it's still a mean-spirited suggestion. Schools and students are under a lot of pressure these days, so let's not deny the head of geography the chance to go sledging on a weekday.

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