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Education / SIC wanted to make ‘early decision’ on school closures

SHETLAND Islands Council has explained that yesterday afternoon’s (Monday) decision to close schools for a second day was based off forecasts and weather warnings at the time.

Officers were also keen to make an early decision to allow people to make alternative arrangements in good time.

Some people in the community have expressed frustration on social media that schools remain closed despite widespread thawing of snow in many areas.

Shetland, though, remains subject to a Met Office weather warning for snow and ice through to Wednesday.

All of Shetland’s schools and council-run early years settings are closed for a second day today (Tuesday) due to the weather.

While there was heavy snow on Monday there has been some thawing overnight, and some areas have little to no white stuff at all.

The council said weather forecasts at the time of the decision predicted more snow.

Shetland Islands Council’s schools manager Brenda Leask said in a statement to Shetland News: “We wanted to make an early decision so that everyone was aware of the situation and could make the necessary arrangements.

“At 5pm yesterday the weather forecast and weather warning indicated more snow, freezing temps and strong winds overnight. 

“The decision was made in consultation with our transport planning, roads and schools services.”

The Met Office is now forecasting for Lerwick that temperatures will rise to four degrees during the day.

The decision to close schools on Monday was only made early yesterday morning after heavy snow had fallen overnight.

UHI Shetland’s Lerwick and Scalloway campuses are also remaining shut today.

But there is less of an impact on businesses today, with some shops which stayed shut or closed early on Monday back open again.

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