Frosty reception

8th January 2010 at 00:00

Schools that remain open to small numbers of pupils during extreme weather should not be punished for poor attendance, according to a union leader.

John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, made the comments after severe weather disrupted thousands of schools.

"Schools that stay open, but whose attendances are hit, should not be penalised when the weather is extremely bad," he said.

"These days (of school closure) should not count in final government attendance statistics."

In schools battling to improve attendance this penalty could unravel positive progress the school has made.

Last year, just 100 pupils out of 300 turned up at Childeric Primary School in Lewisham, south east London, on a day when teachers struggled in despite the weather.

Guidance states that pupil absence should not be recorded when local authority-run school transport is affected by the weather.

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