This article was written during a snow event in 2009.
If you have arrived here looking for school closures in 2013, your first ports of call should be
Uk wide: http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/hi/default.stm
South / Southwest: http://thebreeze.com
And don’t forget, you can hear the radio on the move for free with the UK Radioplayer App
As expected, the slightest hint of snow and London ground to a halt.
And so to the feverish task this morning of trying to find out if my daughter’s school was closed. A check on the school website…nothing. A check on the BBC London website…nothing. A check on Capital FM’s website…(shows how much great travel content was on there – but no school closures)….more than nothing (briefly at around 7.30am).
I’m pretty sure Capital and BBC london would have wanted to carry this information – so why nothing…?
I searched for school closures – and up popped BBC Kent and the most comprehensive one – Invicta fm…
So where did my local council (the London Borough of Bromley) suggest I looked online? Nowhere. Their advice was to tune into Time FM.
Timefm – a small South London station were manfully trying to keep up to date answering the phones, and reading out as many school closures as possible – and taking calls from listeners and generally doing what a real local radio station should do. They seemed to have updates on their site – but that seemed to crash a lot. But they got the job done this morning.
Now, one suspects, there was a decision taken somewhere in London at some point to delegate out the provision of school closures to the ultra local radio stations – but in this hooked -up online age – surely there could be a system where the London councils could co-ordinate the information – to be available for all to see – either specifically tailored as a real time feed to all council sites – or equally – to be available on the otherwise excellent travel coverage on sites such as capitalfm.co.uk .
I guess it shows how much we’ve come to rely on websites for information – but it was reassuring to know that stations such as LBC and Capital, plus the small ones like Timefm – could still step up to the job and give me all the information I needed.
UPDATE December 2010
So more snow hits the UK – and predictably London is at a standstill again. My daughter’s school still don’t add anything to the website, but texted us. The college my wife works at added a closure to the front page of it’s website.
On the radio, Capital FM has links to all the councils in London and had detailed travel news on their site. BBC London were on top of the travel news and they too had links to all the council websites.
And of course – there’s always TWITTER – nice use of a hashtag from BBC Surrey