... And now we know why.
I was puzzled last winter by the apparent eagerness for many schools to close down at the slightest sign of bad weather.
This cold snap has once again led to thousands of schools closing across Britain. While in many cases the closure is logical and expected in many places, where the snow is not that bad, I have been surprised to see schools close anyway.
Many of us remember trudging to school as children in all weathers, indeed I can remember being forced to carry on playing outdoor sport in freezing conditions regardless, and one wonders where this relatively recent trend to close schools whenever their is bad weather comes from?
Cynical parents have suggested it is just an excuse to give staff the day off, others suspect it is a cost-saving measure to avoid putting the heating up!
Well part of the reason head teachers really are keener to close their schools than they used to be did eventually emerge today. During an interview on radio 4 this morning between Stephen Alambritis, chief spokesman of the Federation of Small Businesses, and Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Headteachers, it emerged that some head teachers might have more than one eye on their attendance records when deciding about keeping their school open or not.
Pupil attendance records are a key Government target, and make up part of the performance tables that define a school heads record. A day in which hundreds of kids won't arrive at at school would be disastrous for this 'key performance indicator' - whereas if the school is closed by the head the attendances aren't counted for that day.
So head teachers have a strong incentive to do the absolute opposite of what the targets are supposed to achieve.
This is a classic case of unintended and undesirable consequences from badly drafted laws and poorly considered management targets for which our Government have become legendary.
Schools need targets, and parents are entitled to information about their schools performance, but the challenge is to make sure that the tail does not wag the dog.