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Emergency measures for exams as snow shuts schools

PUBLISHED: 15:58 07 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:41 07 September 2010

SCHOOLS closed and emergency plans were being considered for next week's A-level exams as snow and freezing weather continued to cause havoc in Haringey and the rest of the country. Fortismere, Highgate Wood, Muswell Hill Primary, Stroud

Charlotte Newton

SCHOOLS closed and emergency plans were being considered for next week's A-level exams as snow and freezing weather continued to cause havoc in Haringey and the rest of the country.

Fortismere, Highgate Wood, Muswell Hill Primary, Stroud Green Primary, Our Lady of Muswell Hill Roman Catholic Primary and Highgate Children's Centre were all closed on Wednesday as a blanket of snow fell in north London.

A message on Highgate Wood's website explained that due to the adverse weather, forecasts of further snow and the fact that a large number of teachers had not been able to get to school, it was shut.

Paul Guenault deputy headteacher of the Crouch End secondary, said: "I'm on site today but the school is closed.

"Early this morning a number of teachers indicated that they were not able to make into school, particularly those travelling from the south and west.

"The other main reason we closed was because we have a duty of care to our students.

"If we had 1,400 students on the site today, all trampling down the snow, it would have rapidly become like an ice rink."

Mr Guenault said that A-level exams were due to start next week and the school would be talking to exam boards to see what

emergency measures would be put in place if the bad weather continued.

"On the Fortismere website students facing exams yesterday were told they should go in and continue as normal."

One student Joshua Pugh, 18, of Leicester Road, East Finchley, told Broadway he was continuing revision as usual for his Spanish oral on Friday. "I am not worried that my exam won't go ahead as I don't think that's going to happen," he said.

Over the borough border in Camden, Parliament Hill School was the only secondary to close as the Broadway went to press but all councils say they are poised for further closures.

Haringey's recycling services have also been disrupted in the cold weather.

They have since vowed to get back on track by the end of the week.

Elsewhere, however, residents were positive about the conditions at the start of the cold snap and said business was continuing as usual for now.

In Crouch End Broadway, Chris Freeman, the owner of the Dunns bakery, said: "There was only one older member of staff who rang in to say she was nervous to come in the snow, which is fair enough.

"Everyone else came in and those on the early shift arrived at 4am as normal.

"The roads are clear and traffic is running as normal. Hats off to Boris Johnson, he obviously cracked the whip and got everything running."

A spokeswoman for Haringey Police said that only one woman reported her car had been hit by another vehicle in Muswell Hill at 8.30am yesterday.

All roads were open as usual, according to the spokeswoman.

Gritting trucks were out in the borough from Tuesday night and Haringey Council said yesterday that it had 250 tonnes of grit left.

In neighbouring Barnet and Camden, the councils admitted stocks were low and they had concerns for the cold weather ahead.

Meanwhile Westminster has 500 tonnes stockpiled. Key sites such as town centres, hilly areas and outside elderly people's homes were gritted as a priority.

A spokeswoman for the council said: "The bad weather is expected to last until the weekend.

"We have hundreds of staff on standby to respond at short notice to help keep our roads clear and minimise disruption.

"Grit bins across Haringey are being re-filled to maintain supply.


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