Roads were clear, so why were children sent home?
SCHOOLS that shut down as the first snows of winter struck have defended the decision to send pupils home.
A dozen schools yesterday announced they were to close as snow began to fall.
But after a couple of hours, it was clear that so-called "heavy snow" predicted by the Met Office had not been as bad as first thought.
And parents hit out at the decision by some schools to shut down for the day.
Redhill Primary School, in Ockbrook, took the decision to close from lunchtime, though by 3.30pm the road outside was clear of snow, with only slushy remains on paths.
As news of closures filtered through at noon yesterday, the Derby Telegraph opened an online poll asking if some head teachers had been too quick to send pupils home at the first sign of snow.
Within an hour, 100 people had voted, with more than 80% saying schools closed too quickly. By 10am this morning the figure stood at more than 500, with 81% saying that schools close too early.
David Powell, of Long Eaton, said he had been forced to leave his job in Nottingham to collect his seven-year-old son, William, who lives with his mum in Borrowash.
He said: "I don't know why the school shut as it stopped snowing. It's a nuisance."
Another Redhill parent said she would have to take her son to an after-school club while she went back to work at a local office.
But she conceded: "There is a lot to consider, particularly when a lot of the teachers work outside of the school area."
On the Derby Telegraph website, one reader, WillCroft3, said: "I went to both Springfield and Spondon House schools whatever the weather. It was between ten and fifteen minutes' walk.
"Sometimes the snow was deep and we could not play in the yard so we had to stay in the classroom."
And derbydave1 said: "I still cannot believe how quickly schools close over a bit of a snow flurry."
Other schools which closed included Alfreton Park Special School, Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Ashbourne and Herbert Strutt Primary in Belper.
Redhill Primary head teacher Nicki Bargh said: "We left the closure as late as we could, as well as giving parents plenty of notice.
"At the time we made the decision to close, weather conditions were very severe and the forecast said heavy snow would continue.
"Parents told us they were worried about collecting their children at the end of the day if the snow was going to persist.
"It's not a decision we made lightly at all."
And Sarah Core, headteacher at Herbert Strutt Primary, said a few children had to stay at the school after closure because parents could not collect them.
She said: "We had to close because over half of our teachers live in remote areas.
"As it happens the sun came out in the afternoon but we made a decision based on the snowfall at the time."
The Met Office's weather forecast phone app was still showing "heavy snow" at 2.15pm yesterday afternoon, when the sun was out in Derby. Last night no one from the organisation was available to comment.
SCHOOLS TOO QUICK TO CLOSE?: Take part in our poll, above right.