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Tuesday 4th October 2011

Report by the Working Group on School Opening/Closure Arrangements

The severe weather conditions in Northern Ireland in November and December 2010 resulted in an unprecedented number of schools having to close. The resulting queries from schools, parents and the media highlighted a considerable degree of confusion and misunderstanding over the legal requirements governing the number of days that schools must be in operation: the different types of school closure; the arrangements for reporting closures; and the arrangements for notifying parents.

As a result, the Department of Education established a Working Group on School Opening/Closure Arrangements to explore how the legislative and other arrangements governing school days of operation and closures might be better explained and communicated to schools, parents and the wider public.

The Group was chaired by Stanley Poots, MBE, Principal of Dromara Primary School, and included representatives from the Primary, Post-Primary, Special and Irish Medium sectors, the Education and Library Boards (ELBs), the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS), Trade Unions and NI Direct. The Department of Education and the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) attended as observers. The Department also provided the secretariat to the Group.

Report by the Working Group Report by the Working Group
Report by the Working Group Checklist for Principals when Considering Opening or Closure of School

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