FOI release

Schools which closed because of snow in November 2010

A Freedom of Information (FOI) disclosure about schools that closed because of snow in November 2010.



  • Date requested: 07 December 2010
  • Publish date: 04 January 2011
  • Updated: 17 May 2011


Can the Department provide details of the number of schools which closed because of snow fall during the week commencing 29 November 2010. If possible also provide numbers of school closures by city or region.


There is no duty on schools or local authorities to report closures to this Department and therefore does not hold any definitive figures.

In order to inform Ministers of the scale of disruption, the Department gathers approximate figures from a range of websites (local authorities and local media).  Because there is no duty on anyone to report data in any uniform way, the scope of data will vary from one area to another - for example which categories of school are included.

The estimated figures for each day in the week commencing 29 November 2010 are set out below. These cover closures of schools in England.

Date Number of schools closed
Monday 29 November  around 700 schools
Tuesday 30 November around 1,200 schools
Wednesday 1 December around 3,000 schools
Thursday 2 December at least 7,000 schools
Friday 3 December around 7,000 schools

Figures for regions would be much less reliable, and we have no figures at all for individual local authorities and towns. In broad terms, the North-East accounted for most closures in the early part of the week, with the South-East hardest hit towards the end of the week.

Published 4 January 2011