Parents battle snow to reopen Ann Edwards Primary in South Cerney

PARENTS banded together to clear snow and ice outside a primary school in an effort to get children back to classes and save the school’s Christmas dinner.

Ann Edwards Primary School in South Cerney called upon volunteers on Tuesday (December 13) to help clear the ‘treacherous’ icy school grounds. 

Armed with shovels and spades, parents and children worked together to ensure the school was safe to reopen after a weather-enforced closure on Monday (December 12). 

An appeal was put out by the school on social media and received an enormous response. 

In a heartwarming scene, families came together, giving up their time vehicles, spades and donations of sacks of rock salt – saving pupils from missing their last week at school and a much-anticipated Christmas dinner. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Parents clearing Berkeley Close outside Ann Edwards Primary School on Tuesday Parents clearing Berkeley Close outside Ann Edwards Primary School on Tuesday (Image: Ann Edwards Primary School)

For the last two years, festive activities such as the Christmas dinner at the primary school have been cancelled due to Covid disruptions.

The school was reopened on Wednesday and families are now urging Gloucestershire County Council to put the road outside Ann Edwards Primary School on the main grit route. 

Ben Vivian, a parent from Ann Edwards Primary said: “It’s hard to believe that a school is not a priority when it comes to making roads safe and that we even had to take this action.

“But it was a pleasure to be a part of such an amazing show of community spirit.”

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

“We are all so grateful for the community support, without which we wouldn’t have been able to reopen. 

“The children have already faced disrupted learning from Covid as well as the high winds earlier this year. 

“My concern is that we have a long period of winter left.

“Without the approach road being gritted, our children’s learning is going to be unfairly affected without a clear end in sight. 

Ann Edwards headteacher Ian Moore said: “Although the parental support this week was amazing, it did take them several hours of hard work.

“We can’t expect that every time we are faced with icy or snowy conditions.” 

Cllr Dom Morris, cabinet member for highways at Gloucestershire County Council said: “The winter weather presents an enormous challenge which we are working 24 hours a day to mitigate. 

“We treat almost 1,000 miles of key routes on each gritting run and have been doing two or three runs each day during this cold snap. 

“But unfortunately we are unable to reach every road in Gloucestershire.

“We prioritise A and B roads as well as main routes near schools. 

“Where we are unable to grit roads, we provide communities, including schools and parish councils, bags of salt to ensure they have the equipment they need to keep their community safe. 

“Weather like this shows our communities at their best.

“I’ve been heartened by the dedication of volunteers who have helped us keep schools, driveways, footpaths and cycle paths safe and open. 

“I’d also like to thank our gritting teams who are working long hours to keep residents safe in this dangerous weather. 

GCC’s key routes include roads leading to main hospitals, ambulance stations, police stations and fire stations, some strategic public transport routes, roads serving main shopping centres, and the majority of secondary schools. 

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