All Fife schools are to remain closed on Monday, it has been confirmed.
With Fife Council resources focused on trying to reopen secondary schools as a result of the impending S4 to S6 exams, schools across the Kingdom were asked to rally their local communities to make playgrounds, paths, entrances and car parks as accessible as possible.
And local people throughout Fife answered that call in their droves, with young and old taking up snow shovels and pitching in.
Nevertheless, Fife Council has decided to keep secondary, primary, nursery and special schools closed for yet another day for safety reasons, despite the incredible efforts of volunteers throughout the Kingdom to clear away snow.
Carrie Lindsay, executive director of education and children’s services, said: “This is not a decision which has been taken lightly and we have weighed up all possible scenarios before coming to this decision, pupil safety has to be our main priority.
“I am acutely aware of the need to get our children back in the classroom to continue their learning and to allow our parents back to work.
“The efforts made by some school communities yesterday and today have been amazing and hugely appreciated. These efforts will not go to waste because they will allow us to get our schools opened sooner.
“We have gone to great lengths today to try to at least open our secondary schools but the sheer size and diversity of Fife has made this impossible.
“Even within individual schools the travel arrangements for different sections of the community have been so varied it is unfair to expect children to attend.”
School staff have been told they should attend their school wherever possible and, if this is not possible, they should attend another local school that they can reach safely.
One sterling example of the teamwork on display came in Cupar as a couple of dozen parents responded to recently appointed Castlehill Primary head teacher Lisa Gilroy’s appeal via the school association Facebook page and cleared the many accesses across the sprawling school grounds in an hour or so.
There were plenty of similar tales right across the Kingdom – but those efforts were ultimately in vain it seems.
Huge thanks to #teamladybank who cleared the playground and car park! Special thanks to Steven Whyte for bringing the digger!! @FifeCouncil Awesome community in Ladybank! #pride pic.twitter.com/apRXtTveGm
— Ladybank PS (@LadybankPS) March 4, 2018
@C_CSmith1 fantastic community spirit shown in Freuchie to get local school open. Would be wrong if decision was taken to close all schools in Fife tomorrow. School good to open. Decision should be for head teachers. #BeastfromEast pic.twitter.com/fUxFOmCzyh
— Struan Nimmo (@C_SNimmo) March 4, 2018
Dalgety Bay Scouts put in a shift today to clear the paths at their primary school @FifeCouncil @donibristleps doing their bit to help. We're very proud of their efforts to help their community @ScoutsScotland pic.twitter.com/Z6xTJ7lniu
— Rosyth Scouts (@RosythScouts) March 3, 2018
Huge amount of snow cleared by Lorraine and the jannies. Also Stuart and the Parks team @FifeCouncil Sincere thanks to all. Please stand by for official word from Fife Council shortly. Will keep you informed. pic.twitter.com/sh9F8SJos4
— Kirkcaldy High (@KirkcaldyHigh) March 4, 2018
Team Torryburn parents and children have cleared roads, car park and paths as well as playground. Thank you all so much. #Snowmageddon won’t stop us. @FifeCouncil @FifeEduTeam working hard to get a back to school. ??? pic.twitter.com/j8fvIy7U0H
— Torryburnps (@torryburnps1) March 3, 2018
Community spirit alive & well. Valley Primary School Parents, pupils neighbours, and @FifeCouncil working together so the school is accessible. Special thanks to B & Q for rocking up with snow shovels. Well done everyone! pic.twitter.com/Z2Ivgd41N0
— Judy Hamilton (@judyinfife) March 4, 2018
Janitors have been checking school buildings and heating systems over the weekend, and travel conditions will continue to be monitored.
As ever, Fife Council will send text/email alerts as schools re-open and people can check the status of facilities at www.fifedirect.org.uk/closures.
All Fife College campuses will open as normal on Monday.