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07th Mar 2018

Parents’ Council Director suggests schools open on Saturdays to make up for days lost to severe weather

Conor Heneghan


“I’ll probably upset everyone by saying this…”

The Director of the National Parents Council Post Primary has suggested that schools could open on Saturdays to make up for the days they were forced to close during the severe weather last week.

Speaking with Patricia Messinger on C103’s Cork Today show on Wednesday, Sean O’Riordan, Director of the National Parents Council Post Primary, suggested that there is no reason that the days lost to the severe weather conditions “couldn’t be made up on a Saturday or two”.

“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, do you know what I’m saying to you, particularly for exam students. I presume that will upset some people,” O’Riordan said.

“The thing is this, 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 would be interesting to know whether a lot of parents that have students doing particularly the Leaving Cert or the Junior Cert – maybe the Junior Cert a little less – have they holiday plans made for Easter? I think I’d be more inclined as a parent, if you are making holiday plans, it would be after the exam dates.”

A Department of Education circular allows for schools to open for up to three days during the Easter holidays for unforeseen school closures, which occurred during the severe weather brought on by Storm Emma and the Beast from the East last week and during Storm Ophelia late last year.

The suggestion that schools would open during the Easter holidays – when holidays may have been planned in advance – has been branded as unfair by various teaching unions, with alternative measures such as postponing tours and ensuring that examination students attend all classes until the end of May proposed instead.

You can listen to Sean O’Riordan’s conversation with Patricia Messinger in full here.

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