PARENTS have reacted angrily after Inverclyde Council decided to shut all schools today - just 45 minutes before classes were due to start.

Local authority education officials made the decision at 8.16am, when many pupils and teachers had already travelled in, despite the snowy weather, and or were en route.

The council blamed it on 'transport disruption' but most local buses were running as normal.

The decision provoked an angry backlash from parents on social media.

Mum Michelle Sinnamon was waiting with her child to board the bus to Lady Alice Primary, which has been decanted to the former St Stephen's High building at the top of Port Glasgow.

She said: "What an absolute disgrace again.

"Standing at bus stop for Lady Alice Primary. And guess what? We get a text saying all schools closed and the bus pulls up.

"Don't think anyone in that council have a clue what they are doing.

"Half of Scotland take decisions yesterday to close."

Many parents complained that their children had been dropped off early for breakfast club, which can start from as early as 8am in some schools.

John Tolan said: "Forecast known for days, nearby local authorities close in plenty time for you to announce this at 8.16.

"Chaos for parents/carers. An absolute joke."

David Quinn added: "Shambolic. No thought to staff travelling outwith area.

"How many will now be stranded due to their efforts to make it in?

"Not to mention kids already dropped off with parents en route to work."

The council today defended the way the decision was taken.

A spokesman said: “Closing schools is never an easy decision to make and inevitably there will be people who believe it should have been taken sooner.

"We have to weigh up all of the information available at any one time and take into consideration the safety of pupils and staff and the impact on the wider community.

"Last night there was no suggestion of serious disruption within Inverclyde and it was not necessary to close schools.

"This morning – based on the weather, travelling conditions and the effect of school closures in other areas – it became clear closure was the right decision to make and we alerted parents as quickly as possible.

"Ultimately, however, parents and carers can make their own decision on whether they feel it is safe to send a child to school during periods of severe winter weather.”