Our Community - Our Future


It’s been a chilly week in school this week, -7 was the coldest my car showed on Thursday morning. Tuesday saw some fairly significant snowfall and led to the inevitable calls from some students for me to close the school. I’ll be honest, unlike some wintry days in previous years, I never came close to closing the school on Tuesday. There is always a concern over the safety of our site, which being as large as it is requires students and staff to spend a lot of time outside. Icy paths can be dangerous and this is something that we have to take into account. Not all ‘snow days’ are the same, and sometimes clearing the site can be impossible, but I knew early on that Mr Hutchinson and his site team were well on top of the job even before I arrived just after 6.30am. The second, and often most crucial factor, is the state of the roads and the transport networks. We haven’t lost a day of school to snow since 2019, but when we did – and all the other times before it – the main issue was that the road network had ground to a halt. Students stranded on buses, staff miles from school and no hope of there being enough adults in the building to supervise those students who could walk to school. This simply wasn’t a factor this week, and so in terms of a decision it was the easiest non-snow day that I can remember. Either that, or after Covid the challenge of a snow day no longer seems that big!

Therefore we were open on Tuesday and I was very glad of it. We don’t tend to get snowfall like we used to in the 80s… (I know, showing my age!)… and so in some respects it was nice seeing students actually playing in the snow at break and lunch. We didn’t go down the now common route of banning snowballs, and I’d say 98% of students enjoyed themselves sensibly and within limits. As always in life some couldn’t handle it and took it a bit far, but there was a really good staff presence all across the site to keep things in check. One student did ask me if we could have a staff vs student snow ball fight. I told him that when I was a schoolboy that was exactly what happened in my school. He looked excited as hope seemed to rise in him that I might actually say ‘yes’. Sadly for him the answer was a firm ‘no’. ‘Why, if your teachers were ok with it?’, asked the boy. My answer? ‘Back then I was a student and I thought the staff vs student snowball fight was a great idea. Now I’m in charge, and I can see that it was utter madness’.

Anyway, enough on that and enough snow for 2024 thank you!

To finish, a quick update from some of the charity work done before the end of term last year. There was a lot going on, partly in aid of charities and also partly to support the costs of the Year 11 Prom. Our year seven charity leaders did a fantastic job organising a whole school Christmas jumper day on the last day of term, and along with money raised in PE the total was around £500! The majority of this is going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation which is great to hear. Well done all!!

Have a great weekend,

Joe Barker


Our Community - Our Future
Marple Hall School
Hill Top Drive
Stockport SK6 6LB Headteacher: Mr Joe Barker
Tel: 0161 427 7966
Fax: 0161 426 0931
Email: info@marplehall.stockport.sch.uk
Safeguarding: safeguarding@marplehall.stockport.sch.uk