Be Winter Ready 2017/2018
Information note from the DES:
The Department of Education and Skills wishes to bring to your attention the "Be Winter Ready" 2017-2018 Information Campaign
The main message is to be prepared and know where to find help if you need it.
In this regard the dedicated website www.winterready.ie provides advice under a range of headings one of which is "Schools". Under the heading of "Schools" advice can be found on the following:
- Weather warnings from Met Éireann, status yellow, orange and red
- School closures
- Contacting parents
- Making up for lost days
- Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations
- Who to contact for more information
- Contact numbers for local Bus Eireann School Transport Offices
The Office of Emergency Planning will be regularly tweeting during the winter period to augment the ‘Be Winter Ready’ campaign. The twitter account can be followed on @emergencyIE and the public are being encouraged to join in the conversation at #bewinterready.
Extract from www.winterready.ie - Schools- Be Winter Ready
The decision to close a school rests with the school management authority. Any decision to close is taken in the interest of children safety, having assessed the local risks and having consulted, as appropriate with school transport operators.
Some of the issues that schools take into account include:
- conditions in the school itself,
- the capacity of the school to ensure the health and safety of students whilst in school, and
- the ability of parents, students, staff and school transport services to safely negotiate local road conditions to reach the school.
While schools in an area will normally try to co-ordinate their decisions, the individual circumstances can vary between individual schools in close proximity and may lead to different decisions being taken by schools. Guidance on time lost due to unforeseen closures as a result of severe weather is available on the Department’s website www.education.ie
Making Up for Days Lost
Decisions on how to make up for lost tuition will be taken locally by the school authority, following their assessment of tuition lost. The Department of Education and Skills has published guidance for schools in relation to making up for time lost due to unforeseen closures, including severe weather. This guidance is set out in Circular 0016/2014
This guidance sets out a structured approach to determining the measures to be put in place to make up for time lost and provides that where other measures are not considered adequate, the school may decide to shorten the February mid-term break by up to three days and/or the Easter break by up to three days having taken account of the implications of any measures identified for pupils, teachers, parents and other staff and also other parties such as school transport, bus escorts, traffic wardens and visitors to the school.
In the event of severe weather during scheduled state examinations the State Examinations Commission will communicate with schools to put in place alternative arrangements.
Who should I contact if I need more information?
Contact numbers for local Bus Eireann School Transport Offices are also available on www.winterready.ie