A fake government letter about schools opening on Saturdays is circulating
Written correspondence purporting to be from the Department Of Education is currently circulating on social media, causing significant concern among parents.
The letter - which a government spokesperson has confirmed to Her is not real - refers to making up "for the teaching time lost during the recent storms experienced in Ireland".
According to the fake letter, which also has no date and no signature on it, schools will be forced to:
1) Open for four consecutive Saturdays during April and May 2018
2) Open for two full weekends during April or May 2018
3) Open after 3pm for two extra hours each day for two consecutive weeks in April/May
One parent, who asked not to be named, told us on Thursday: "I'm in a WhatsApp group with other mums and this letter was forwarded on to us all.
"Needless to say, it caused complete panic. We were all wondering how we'd manage getting the kids to school during the weekend."
Also on Thursday, a government spokesperson confirmed that the correspondence is "not a Department letter".
"Schools should firstly quantify the tuition days lost, before addressing the most appropriate way to make up tuition time," the spokesperson continued.
"Significant flexibility is given to schools to make up tuition hours lost due to unforeseen circumstances. One option is to reduce the Easter holidays, but this is one of many choices available to schools."
They added that the Department’s guidance for schools in relation to making up for time lost due to unforeseen closures is available here.