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Headteacher stranded by the snow camps out in his office for FIVE days and counting


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Unlike many local authorities which appear to have been caught on the hop by the snow, one headteacher was determined the weather would not disrupt his work.


Andrew Perry realised that heavy snow was on its way on Sunday night and drove to his rural school to make sure it was ready for his pupils the next day.

Armed with a sleeping bag, camping mattress and plenty of food, he was prepared for the long haul - which was fortunate because he has been stranded there ever since.


The primary school - St Katharine's in the remote Savenake Forest in Wiltshire - was cut off by huge snow drifts on Monday morning.

Despite Mr Perry's good intentions, all lessons had to be cancelled and it has remained closed all week.


But the headteacher has doggedly stayed camped out in his office so that he is ready to open up once the surrounding roads finally clear.


Speaking from the school yesterday, he said he was surviving thanks to its efficient heating system - and a ready supply of coffee.

'It's been a strange week but I really want to get the school ready again for the pupils,' he said.


'We are probably one of the most rural schools in the country so it's not practical for me to just drive in 25 miles to work in these conditions.

'So when I saw the weather forecast predicting heavy snow on Sunday, I decided the sensible thing to do would be to just stay over at the school.

'It's been unusual being out here on my own but the heating is going strong and I have fresh supply of coffee and sleeping bag in my office - but it's not great for my back.'

The married headteacher - who was appointed to the role in September - lives 25 miles away from the school in Malmesbury.

His journey to work involves many narrow rural roads which became impassable after the first snowfalls on Sunday evening.

After nearly a week living at the school in freezing conditions, Mr Perry says he has no plans to return home until the crisis is over.

He said: 'I don't think I'm doing anything particularly special - I just want to try and get the school open.

'At the moment it would be difficult to make it home anyway, so I'm just making the best of it here and doing my best to keep the school ticking over.'

St Katharine's School governor Peter Holland, 64, said the school was lucky to have such a dedicated headteacher.

He said: 'It's remarkable that he is so committed to the school that he is prepared to sleep there just in case we can get the building open for business.

'Andrew has only been with us since September but he has already become a wonderful addition and we are lucky to have such a determined headteacher. He is a great example to us all.'



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