Council will “monitor” impact of weather on Dundee schools following angry backlash at decision to keep them open

© DC Thomson
Snow on Clepington Road, Dundee on Wednesday morning.

Dundee City Council said it will “monitor” the impact of a freezing front of weather from Russia on the city’s schools after an angry backlash to its decision to keep them all open.

The city experienced heavy snowfall overnight into Wednesday morning as the “Beast from the East” moved into Scotland, with several inches of the white stuff landing locally.

The High School of Dundee announced late on Tuesday night that it would be closed on Wednesday “in the interests of safety”, while Dundee and Angus College said all its campuses would be shut.

LIVE UPDATES: Hundreds of schools closed as Scotland is hit by Beast from the East snow

However the local authority said all of its Dundee schools would remain open.

A severe “amber” weather warning for snow is in place for Tayside and Fife with the Met Office warning that more than 1ft could land in some areas of the East Coast.

Between 2in-3.9in of the white stuff is expected quite widely from Wednesday into Thursday, however some places under the warning are could experience 5.9in-9.8in and possibly even more than 15in.

Temperatures will struggle to get above freezing today and the Met Office has warned that wind chill will make conditions feel even more cold than they are.

One Tuesday evening Fife Council confirmed that all of its schools would be closed, with many also shut across Angus and Perth and Kinross. Perth College is also closed.

Dundee City Council has come under fire on social media from its decision to keep all of its schools open despite the forecast.

The late announcement of its decision, just before schools were due to open to pupils, was also roundly criticised.

Despite claiming it would announce its decision on closures at 7am, the local authority took until about 7.30am to state all schools would “be open as usual” following “careful consideration of the weather and road conditions”.

However many parents took to social media to vent their anger at the decision, with some even claiming they would be keeping their children at home despite the schools remaining open.

Some claimed the decision was “outrageous”.

Posting on the council’s Facebook page Jem Clark said: “Ridiculous. All colleges and other councils have shut for SAFETY…surely that tells you something.

“Police Scotland and met office are advising not to travel for a reason. Think of the teachers and kids who don’t live local to their school.”

Mark Mordente added: “Do you not see the risk of us adults needing to travel to get our kids to school, the police have said DO NOT travel, what is it you don’t get? Everywhere else has decided to close? Even Dundee colleges!! So why aren’t schools??!”

Scott Soutar said: “Most councils across Scotland have made the sensible decision as have Dundee & Angus college and even Dundee High… Well done DCC last as always to make the call.”

Responding to the backlash, a spokesman for Dundee City Council said: “All Dundee schools are as usual today after careful consideration of the weather and road conditions this morning.

“We will continue to monitor the situation throughout the day. Please follow our social media channels and website for latest updates.”

Xplore Dundee confirmed its school services would be reinstated not long after the announcement.

However buses will stick to “main roads only” for safety reasons.

The firm said: “This is to complement Dundee City Council’s decision to open schools today. Apologies for any confusion.”


Fife Council chief executive Steve Grimmond said: “The Met Office is telling us we are facing some extremely challenging conditions over the next few days. We must follow the national advice and the safety instructions issued by Police Scotland.

“It’s never an easy decision to close schools or any council facility, and this hasn’t been done lightly. We hope parents and other residents will understand and bear with us as we try and keep as many critical services running as possible.

“Keeping our roads as clear as possible is also vital for our emergency services so they can reach people who need them quickly.

“In spite of all efforts made to clear snow and grit it seems inevitable that driving conditions will be dangerous. Please put your safety, and the safety of others, first.”