Team effort sees snow cleared to get school back open for lessons

Parents and staff teamed up to help a school reopen to pupils after two snow days closed it for lessons.

Seaburn Primary School has welcomed children to classes today after caretakers and other workers, teachers and parents helped clear the paths of snow to make it safe for pupils and visitors.

Seaburn Dene Primary School teachers helped clear snow so the school could reopen.

Seaburn Dene Primary School teachers helped clear snow so the school could reopen.

It comes after it was among those to stay shut when several of its teachers could not reach the Torver Crescent School on Wednesday and then again yesterday.

Headteacher Maxine Purdy said: “A lot of my staff travel from quite a distance and my first priority was staff and pupil safety.

“I live near to Chester-le-Street and I took a walk down to the main road and I could see the road was clear, and my deputy only lives a mile or so from the school, so we went across last night and said yes, we can do this, it’s time to get the school back into a routine.

“We share our caretakers with Monkwearmouth, but two caretakers isn’t enough, so some staff came in early and some parents came in and brought their snow shovels to clear the routes around the school to make it safe for those who aren’t wearing the right footwear.

Now we’re reopen, a lot of parents have congratulated us at the gates and I think they’re pleased to see their children back, especially if they’re at work and they don’t have to worry about childcare.

Maxine Purdy

“We’ve told the children they can come in jeans and jumpers and they all have their wellies on and they’ve been outside throwing snowballs and making snow angels.”

The school is one of a handful to be open in the city, with 129 of its 215 pupils making it in today.

Miss Purdy added: “On Wednesday, the caretaker side they couldn’t get in because of frozen locks.

“Then on Thursday, the caretaker, who doesn’t live on site, couldn’t get in and I couldn’t get into school because the roads were so bad around Chester-le-Street.

Seaburn Dene Primary School pupils have fun in the snow, after the school reopened thanks to the efforts of staff and parents.

Seaburn Dene Primary School pupils have fun in the snow, after the school reopened thanks to the efforts of staff and parents.

“Now we’re reopen, a lot of parents have congratulated us at the gates and I think they’re pleased to see their children back, especially if they’re at work and they don’t have to worry about childcare.”

Children as they put their efforts into building a snowman in the yard.

Children as they put their efforts into building a snowman in the yard.