24 November, 2014 - Ministers O’Sullivan and English welcome Winter Ready Information

The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, TD, and Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English, TD, today encouraged education stakeholders to read the recently revised Winter Ready Booklet, available at www.winterready.ie

There are several sections which will be of particular interest to parents:

·     School closures- school management authorities make the decision to close a school, taking into account several factors. These include conditions in the school itself, the school’s capacity to ensure the health and safety of students in school, and the ability of parents, students, staff and school transport services to safely negotiate local road conditions to reach the school.

·     Contacting parents- schools will make every effort to contact parents. Most schools use a text messaging service, and they may also place notices on the school’s websites and with local radio stations.

·     Junior and Leaving Certificate exams- if severe weather impacts on practical and oral exams, the State Examinations Commission will be in touch with schools to make alternative arrangements.

The Ministers advised parents to keep in touch with local schools during incidents of severe weather. Minister O’Sullivan said: “If you have any concerns or questions about the arrangements being put in place, you should contact your child’s school directly, as they will be best placed to advise you. Parents can get the contact details for all schools on the Department’s website, www.education.ie”.

Minister English said: “If you have any questions about the School Transport Scheme during severe weather, you can contact your local Bus Eireann Transport Office for an update. Bus Eireann also provide regular updates to local radio stations, and post notices on the company’s website, www.buseireann.ie”.