More than 27,000 pupils in Suffolk missed at least a day of school as a result of weather it has been revealed.

A Freedom of Information request found that between January 1 2023 and January 1 this year 124 school days across 99 schools in the county were lost due to closures. 

Out of the 124 missed school days, 110 were directly related to weather events, including storms, snow, and flooding, while a further seven were due to burst water pipes and no water available in schools — there have also been five due to problems with power, heating, and electrics, and two due to staffing issues.

In total, the closures have affected 27,381 pupils, but in most cases the majority of pupils only missed one day of school.

In the latter half of 2023, Suffolk was battered by storms Babet, Ciaran and Henk. 

On October 20, 2023, students at Debenham High School were stranded due to flooding.

During Storm Babet alone, 800 properties across Suffolk were confirmed to have been internally flooded, prompting the council to dedicate £1m to investigate over 60 separate incidents within the next 18 months.

Graham White, from the National Education Union, said despite the county council’s efforts to lessen the impact of floods, more needs to be done by the Government.
He added: “Any day missed is regrettable and will have an impact, the bigger concern for me is that issues have not been addressed by Government at all.

“Schools are very good at managing horrendous situations, but if the government put more money into school, this would make life a lot easier.”

A spokesperson for the county council said the authority was experiencing some of the worst rainfall ever.

They added: “We are seeing the heaviest and most persistent rainfall on record, with repeated deluges falling on already saturated ground. River levels are high meaning the drains cannot move water away quickly.

“In periods of severe weather such as this, Suffolk Highways will work to clear main routes and keep them open where possible, however sometimes the only course of action can be to close roads for the safety of motorists and residents.

"Highway teams carry out routine clearance of drains across Suffolk all year round and have been working tirelessly to continue this during the recent bad weather to keep our county moving.”