PARENTS have been left fuming as hundreds of schools remain closed for a second day after temperatures plunged to -13C overnight.
Dozens of school gates have remained shut in Staffordshire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Wales as parent groups blasted heads for taking the “easy option”.
Margaret Morrissey, of campaign group Parents Outloud, said: “I think the schools are too quick to close, it’s the easy option.
“What would happen if countries like Russia did this? Their children would never get an education.”
One parent tweeted: “We’re breeding a generation of wimps governed by a generation scared s***less by health and safety legislation.”
Another social media user said: “Staggered to see local schools closed because of snow – just seen the woman across the road in her 80s walking back from the paper shop and kids can’t even walk to school.”
A parent from Birmingham, which had a blanket closure in place on Monday tweeted: “So today I lost five hours of work because I had to drop and pick up my daughter from her mates.
“All because of a bit of snow Birmingham Council said was really bad. Children lose a day of education and us parents, most of us, lose a lot of money because of a dumb decision.”
Graham White, of the National Education Union, defended the closures saying: “Schools are for education, not child-minding.
“It is very unfortunate that parents are inconvenienced by snow and school closures, but safety is paramount.”
Employers were asked not to force workers to make hazardous trips into the office this morning as plunging temperatures created hazardous driving conditions.
Much of the country woke up to freezing fog patches with rain and hill snow predicted for later in the day.
The cold snap saw the mercury fall to -13C in Shawbury last night – the coldest night of the year so far.
Met Office meteorologist Craig Snell said: “It’s still possible that it could go lower but in Shawbury we saw -13C (8.6F) which is the coldest night of the year so far.
“We have to go back to the night of February 13/14 2016 when we saw -14.1C (6.6F) in Braemar for the coldest before that.”
Mr Snell added that there was the potential for a “dusting” of snow on higher levels over coming days, and a risk of problems caused by rain falling in already icy areas.
He added: “It will take a good few days for the snow to melt away,” warning of further chaos ahead.
The Met Office has extended yellow weather warnings for snow and ice until 11am today to cover vast swathes of the country, including London and the South East, much of the Midlands, Northern Ireland and Wales, as well as the eastern coast of England and parts of Scotland.
National Express has reported major delays on Chiltern Railways, Arriva Trains Wales and Greater Anglia services this morning amid widespread commuter chaos.
Temperatures are not expected to get above 4C for much of the UK today, but this evening will be milder than yesterday with overnight temperatures between 3C and -2C for most.
Wednesday is expected to be the mildest day of the week with the possibility of temperatures reaching double figures.
But as the weekend approaches it will feel chillier with the chance of more snow showers on Friday.
Thousands of plane, road and train passengers were left stranded yesterday as snow and ice brought travel chaos across the country.
Heathrow bosses warned passengers on dozens of cancelled flights not to travel to the airport in the hope of getting on a plane.
The snow and ice has also caused delays and cancellations at Stansted, Luton, Manchester and Edinburgh airports.
More than 10,000 homes were also without power yesterday as further snow flurries hampered re-connection efforts.
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