Statement from the Department of Education and Skills on Storm Lorenzo

The Department of Education and Skills has issued the following statement on Storm Lorenzo.

Statement from the Department of Education and Skills on Storm Lorenzo (Wednesday, 2 October): 

A status orange wind warning has been issued by Met Éireann for Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick and will be in place from 6pm on Thursday to 3am on Friday morning.

Schools and all education centres (universities, IoTs and further education centres)  in areas affected by a status orange alert should remain vigilant, and keep themselves appraised of any hourly and other updates from Met Éireann, and from their local authorities, local radio, and an Garda Síochána.

In all events, and if in any doubt, schools and other education settings should err on the side of caution. Schools are empowered to make closure decisions if, in their judgment in the interests of the safety of the school community, it is prudent to do so. Any and all decisions about school closures will be informed by, as well as prevailing and predicted conditions, any damage that might have been caused to school buildings overnight or at any time during the storm, and whether such damage –where it exists – might present a risk to safety. Similarly other education settings should make closure decisions based on those considerations.

We will continue to monitor the situation as it progresses and will follow any advice from the National Emergency Coordination Group.

If our school is closed due to bad weather, do we have to make up the time?

Appendix B of Circular 09/2017 gives guidance to schools in relation to making up for time lost due to unforeseen school closures. This guidance sets out a structured approach to be taken in determining the measures to be put in place to make up for any time lost. The guidance provides that subject to consensus at local level, any changes to normal practice that can be made to address the shortfalls should be put in place. For primary schools, these include prioritising tuition over other non-tuition activities and consideration of whether learning in the classroom should be prioritised over school tours, etc

If this cannot be achieved, the school authority should then identify any available discretionary days that the school had planned to close that could be made available to make up for time lost.