Social Democrats Spokesperson for Children, Councillor Jennifer Whitmore, has criticised the Department of Education’s advice to schools’ boards of management this morning as ‘too little, too late’.

Greystones Councillor Whitmore said:

“At 5.50a.m. this morning, Met Éireann issued a Status Red weather warning for snow and ice in Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Wicklow and Meath.

“However, it wasn’t until an hour and a half later – at 7.18a.m. – that the Minister for Education issued a tweet advising that decisions on school closures would be made locally by each school, including those in Red areas.

“This was too little too late. If the weather forecast is serious enough for a Status Red warning, then surely there should be early and clear direction from the Department to schools that a red alert means stay at home.

“I have heard that some parents in Dublin did not receive notifications from their schools until after 7a.m.  today. It is not good enough for working parents to be told at such short notice that their childrens’ schools will be closed. Parents then have to scramble to put in place childcare arrangements or negotiate with their employers to take time off work or work from home.

“As this exceptional weather is set to continue for the rest of the school week, the Department of Education needs to get out early with appropriate guidance for schools’ boards of management around the country.”

ENDS

28 February 2018