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Call for schools to open on Saturdays to make up for 'snow days'

It’s been suggested that it would be unreasonable to make up the days during Easter.

Image: Shutterstock/Antonio Guillem

THE DIRECTOR OF the National Parents Council has suggested schools could open on Saturdays to make up for time lost as a result of the recent severe weather.

Some schools closed as early as last Wednesday as the freezing weather system brought frost and snow to the country last week. Some schools in areas worst affected had to keep their doors shut into the early days of this week.

“I’ll probably upset everyone by saying this but there’s no reason why this couldn’t be made up on a Saturday or two,” Sean O’Riordan, who is director of the group’s post-primary section, told Cork’s C103 radio today.

I’m sure if they could cut the holiday period, if they had more advance notice, they would have probably done it around the Easter time, but this all came together so they don’t have time to change it because, I presume, plans are made everywhere.

It’s been suggested that it would be unreasonable of schools to make up the days during the Easter holidays, as many parents will already have holidays booked.

Assistant General Secretary of teaching union the INTO Peter Mullan told the Irish Independent yesterday that such a move would be “very unfair”.

The Department’s guidance for schools in relation to making up for time lost due to unforeseen closures states:

The Easter break may be reduced by up to three days by the school remaining open up to and including the Wednesday immediately preceding the Easter weekend.

It also advises:

The school authority must also take into account the need to provide adequate notice of any changes to the school calendar to pupils, parents and staff.

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circ Source: Department of Education

Saturday openings are not covered in the document.

TheJournal.ie has asked the Department for a response to Sean O’Riordan’s comments.

Read: ‘Snow tourists’ hampering clean-up operation >

Read: Drivers warned about snow and ice falling onto road as clean-up continues >

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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