One last burst of heavy snow expected tomorrow as thousands take a 'snowday' with nearly 5,000 schools closed and commuters facing travel chaos

Thousands of children got an extra day off as 4,800 schools remained closed across the country

One last burst of heavy snow is expected across parts of Britain tomorrow before an expected relief from the blizzard conditions of the last four days.

With much of the country snowbound, thousands of schools closed and transport services struggling to cope today, tomorrow will be difficult once again as heavy snowfalls hit regions as far apart as South Wales and Northern Scotland.

Some of the heaviest falls will be caused by a westerly low-pressure system bringing moist warm air from the Atlantic, which will meet the solid mass of cold air from the east which has held Britain in its grip for most of the last week. Where the two clash, over South Wales and parts of Central and South-West England, as much as five centimetres of the white stuff can be expected once again.

North East Scotland and parts of the Pennines may be even worse hit with up to 10 cms and blizzards over high ground – but from Wednesday, conditions are likely to become more settled, although ice will continue to cause havoc for the rest of the week, with temperatures likely to remain substantially below the seasonal average.

Today, after what had largely been a snow-filled weekend, there was widespread travel chaos, with many rail services and flights suspended or cancelled, including flights from London’s Heathrow Airport, which lost about ten per cent of its services, while other airports including Gatwick and Birmingham also experienced disruptions.

Eurostar said snow and ice in the UK and northern France were leading to speed restrictions and delays on all its cross-Channel trains. Six services were also cancelled, with customers told they could exchange their tickets for another date, while Virgin Trains, First Capital Connect, Southeastern, Southern and South West Trains all experienced disruption.

Road travel was equally difficult, with two major roads across the Pennines, the A628 Woodhead Pass and the A66 between Brough and Bowes, closed because of snow drifts; in Northumbria, the Army was called out to rescue passengers in two stranded buses.

Many accidents were reported in the icy conditions.  The AA said that today was one of the busiest days for call-outs this winter, at more than 17,000: breakdowns were being reported at a rate of around 2,000 an hour, with the busiest areas the Midlands, London, and the South West and South East of England. The company said that one of its own 4x4 patrol vehicles was written off in Surrey after it went too fast round a bend and skidded on ice.

There were a number of fatalities in the white-out, including a woman believed to have frozen to death after collapsing as she walked home from a night out through deep snow in Kent. Bernadette Lee, 25, was discovered in the front garden of the house next to her sister's in Deal: police said they were looking at the possibility that Ms Lee got into difficulties as she made her way home.

In Scotland, the fourth person killed in an avalanche in Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands at the weekend was named by police as Rachel Majumdar, 29, a doctor working at Harrogate District Hospital in North Yorkshire. She was originally from Merseyside and was most recently living in Leeds, Northern Constabulary said.

Not least of the weather disruption today was being experienced in schools:  nearly 5,000, one in six,  remained closed across the UK, and around a million pupils had an extra day a result of the snow - with some missing crucial GCSE and A-level exams.

Those who missed exams are being told they can ask for special consideration - which could lead to them being awarded grades on the basis of work already done or predictions of their expected.

Exam boards were adamant that rescheduling today’s papers was “not an option”. That could put in question the integrity of the system since  schools would already have had access to the papers.

Meanwhile, one headteacher, Martin Stott, of the old Hall prep school for four-to-11-year-olds in Wellington, Telford, said he felt “a sense of duty” to remain open.

“If I close, many parents can make alternative arrangements  and keep their children home but many can’t,” he said.  “If I ask doctors to come and collect their kids or keep them at home lists get cancelled.”

Some primary schools in Yorkshire were operating a scheme whereby teachers could report for duty at the school nearest their home if they could not get to their usual place of employment,

The Department for Education said schools needed “to continue to provide an education whenever feasible”.

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association for School and College Leaders - which represents secondary school heads, said: “No headteacher takes the decision to close their school lightly.  Whilst heads will do everything they can to keep the school open, the key consideration has to be their ability to ensure the safety of students.”

News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principle Geotechnical Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup