Emergency Closure Policy




Emergency Closures Policy


The school policy on emergency closures was originally drafted in collaboration with all staff members. It has been updated with input from inschool management. It will be circulated to the entire school community via the school website in due course.

Relationship to School Ethos:

Scoil Náisiúnta Baile an Phiarsaigh strives to provide a child friendly, secure environment which caters for the needs of all students as far as is practicable and where respect is fostered in a culture which values diversity and difference. It prides itself on a spirit of co-operation between home and school. The safety of staff and pupils is paramount.


The need for the school to devise a policy on emergency closures is primarily, but not exclusively, due to

  1. a) Inclement weather such as heavy snowfalls, high winds etc.
  2. b) Frozen pipes which may cause a break down in the heating system.
  3. c) Leaks in the local water scheme which may cause a Health and Safety issue regarding access to toilets.


Aims and Objectives:

  • To provide for the welfare of all pupils and staff while on the school premises
  • To ensure that a safe, child friendly school environment is available to all children
  • To comply with Health and Safety legislation


Heavy Snowfall:

In the event of a heavy snowfall, the Principal shall consult with the Deputy Principal who will in turn consult with the Chairperson of the B.O.M. before 07:30am to discuss the situation and make a decision. If closing, parents and staff will be contacted via the text-a-parent service by 8.00-8.15am. If no text has been sent it is presumed that the school is open.

In the event of an emergency closure during the day due to severe snowfall, parents will be contacted via the text-a-parent service and staff will remain with children until all are collected.

Any bus operators servicing the school will be contacted by the Principal or another designated person, confirming that the school will not be opening. If the snowfall is prolonged over a number of days and the school is closed indefinitely, parents and bus operators will be informed of re-opening dates via text-A-Parent and information will be posted daily on our school website https://piercestownns.wordpress.com/

The local news station, in this instance South East Radio, will also be informed at the earliest possible time.

**A list of people who need to be contacted for the efficient emergency closure are contained on Appendix 1 of this document.

Disconnection of Services:

Where water or electricity services to the school are to be disconnected, a week’s notification is normally given to the school authorities.  This enables the school to furnish the parent body with the relevant advance warning of such closures via note or text.

In the event of an unscheduled breakdown of services e.g. where the heating system breaks down/ there is a power cut/ the sewage system overflows or the water pipes burst, parents will be given notice as soon as possible via text. Every measure will be taken to repair the system as soon as possible.

High Winds/Thunderstorms:

The procedures in place for heavy snowfall are generally replicated in the event of
storms/lightning i.e. parents are contacted via  text-a-parent and informed that the school will remain closed.  If the school has already opened and is in operation when high winds etc. occur and remaining on the premises is a risk to all – teachers will remain on the premises until all the children have been collected by either parents/guardians.

Damage to school building

The procedures in place for heavy snowfall are generally replicated in the event of severe damage to the school building such as burst pipes, collapsed ceilings, fire damage, etc. i.e. parents are contacted via  text-a-parent and informed that the school will remain closed. If the school has already opened and is in operation when damage occurs
and remaining on the premises is a risk to all – teachers will remain on the premises until all the children have been collected by either parents/guardians.

Guidance for schools in relation to making up for time lost due to unforeseen closures

In accordance with circular 0009/2017, the Board of Management in collaboration with the Principal and teachers will make a decision on making up for time lost due to unforeseen closures. This will be completed in line with appendix B of the circular 009/2017 namely;

  • Prioritising tuition over other non-tuition activities
  • Consideration of whether learning in the classroom should be prioritised over school tours. etc.

The Principal has agreed, where and when possible, to upload work to the school website https://piercestownns.wordpress.com/,  so that work is made available in the event of unforeseen closure. This is supported by the Board of Management.

In cases where a school has been affected by extensive or prolonged school closures (e.g. due to weather, etc.) and where the school authority considers that other measures will not adequately address the loss in tuition involved, the school authority may, having established what arrangements for school transport may or may not be feasible if other schools are remaining closed, decide to implement the following contingency arrangements:

  • the Easter break may be reduced by up to three days with the school remaining open up to and including the Wednesday immediately preceding the Easter weekend. All schools must be closed on the Thursday and Friday immediately preceding the Easter weekend and remain closed for the remainder of the Easter break as set out in Appendix 2 of this policy 0009/2017.

Critical Incident/Death:

In some instances the school might remain closed for pupils in the event of a critical incident or death of a staff member, BoM member or pupil. Parents are informed of such closures either by note or text.  In this particular instance, the school may remain open to staff and BoM or Parents Association if issues such as church services, Guards of Honour, readings or counseling are required (See Critical Incident Policy).

Please note:

In-service closures are notified to parents at least one week in advance by school website or text or newsletter or note home.


Ratification and Communication:

This policy will be ratified by the Board of Management and circulated to the entire school community via the school website in due course.




Implementation and Review:

The policy was updated in  March 2018. This policy will be reviewed again in the light of unplanned events that lead to unscheduled school closures, but not later than 2021.




Signed: Fr. John O’Reilly      Date: 20/03/18

Chairperson, Board of Management.










































Appendix 1.


Who? Role Why? Contact no.
Fr. John Chair person BOM Decision maker 087-2024030
Maureen Gilbane Principal Murrintown Local school 087-9215331
*Fintan Whyte D. Principal Murrintown Local school 087-4136841
Bernie Leahy Principal Mayglass Local Principal 087-9032842
John Price Local Playschool Local Playscool 087-1834635
Staff – whats app


Text for Dolores, Lena, Bryan , Aoife, Michael R **Mon or Thurs only

Staff Communication
Aladdin  – Parents

**Need to check re: message sent

Pupils/parents Communication http://www.aladdin.ie
Debbie Devereux (Sunny Days) Breakfast and homework club Part of school community 089-2277151
John Foley Bus Driver Travel


South East radio Broadcaster Communication  



Enda Whelan Cleaning Cleaning company   087-2249040
**Wed. Olga Conway Drama Teacher Part of school community 087-6858457
**Thurs Tadhg Foran Guitar Teacher Part of school community 086-0776215
**Any sub which may have been booked   Courtesy  
**School Website Communication https://piercestownns.wordpress.com/
Noreen Bambury School Inspector Courtesy Noreen_Bambury@education.gov.ie