Children free to learn about life outside

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The Independent Online

Children around Britain were given the day off, with many heading straight out into the snow to play.

About 2,500 primaries and secondaries shut their doors. Schools in southern England and Leicestershire were the worst affected. Some have already told parents to make alternative arrangements for today.

In Essex, 400 schools were closed. Hampshire County Council said most of its 540 schools were closed. All schools in Surrey turned away pupils, 31 did in Oxfordshire, 160 in Kent, 54 in Northumberland, 63 in Durham, 123 in Cumbria, more than 150 in Buckinghamshire and dozens in Cambridgeshire. Hundreds of schools were closed in London.

The Department for Children and Schools said more than 1,500 schools were closed across the South-east, 441 in Yorkshire and Humberside and 244 in the east Midlands.

In Yorkshire, many schools stayed open but advised parents to keep their children at home because of reduced staffing levels. There were 54 shut in North Yorkshire, 30 in East Riding, 52 in West Yorkshire, 52 in the Bradford area and 41 in Leeds. Fifty schools in Wales closed.