“The severe storms of recent weeks have highlighted the need for a clear national policy when it comes to school closure when extremely bad weather occurs. Though principals and staff always have the best interests and safety of their pupils and students at heart, they should be supported by a clear national policy and Departmental instruction when such weather arises.”
Speaking in the Seanad in the wake of the recent weather alerts, Labour Party Senator, Marie Moloney, called for clear guidance to be provided to schools on how to respond to severe weather warnings. She made the call following confusion and difficulties for parents and teachers during the recent stormy weather.
“There was plenty of warning for several days. For example, the code red wind warnings were in place for Kerry and other parts of the country, so there was ample time for the Department to close schools. Most importantly parents should know in advance, which would allow working parents to make alternative arrangements.
Part of the problem last week for parents was that schools were closed and parents were asked to collect their children at very short notice. That was nobody’s fault but it does highlight the need for proper direction from national government and school management bodies nationally. I will be pursuing the matter with the Minister for Education who has already signalled his willingness to consider this idea.”
In the Seanad, Senator Moloney also paid tribute to the work of the ESB, telecommunications staff, eircom crews, and public transport workers for their efficiency and professionalism during the storms, especially those who are continuing to work to restore power to affected areas.