Federation of Small Businesses criticises headteachers for school closures

As hundreds of schools remain shut, a business group has hit out at headteachers for closing schools too readily during the snow.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the days lost because working parents had to care for their children was adversely affecting companies.

The FSB has called on the government and headteachers to work out a code for school closures.

Stephen Alambritis, chief spokesman for the FSB, told the BBC: “There is concern that the vast majority of absences from work is simply because parents have to stay at home to look after their children.

“We appreciate that, but we do have a worry that headteachers and the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Association of Directors of Children’s Services haven’t really sat down and thought through a code of practice to make sure wherever possible that it’s only in exceptional circumstances that the school is closed.

“We all know that the vast majority of children are within a small catchment area to attend school and so there is a concern that headteachers may be closing schools unnecessarily.”

But John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said decisions had to be made on the basis of the each school’s local situation.

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