06/05/2014

Schools Warned Of 'Disruption' During Giro

The Department of Education has warned parents and families in the Greater Belfast area to expect "some disruption to schools" this Friday as a result of the Giro d'Italia bicycle race.

This year's race begins in Belfast and will take in the Antrim Coast as well as parts of Armagh, before heading to Dublin for the final Irish leg.

A Department of Education spokesperson said: "The Department has contacted all schools to highlight the likelihood of disruption to schools on Friday 9 May.

"The race route will be closed between 09:30 and 12:30 and again between 16:00 and 20:00. Therefore, while Translink advise that morning bus services will operate normally, major disruption is expected in the afternoon and it is likely that a significant number of services in the Greater Belfast area will be unable to operate.

"Despite the expected disruption, the Department expects the vast majority of schools to plan to open. The Department recognises, however, that the Giro d’Italia gives rise to exceptional circumstances to schools on the race route, particularly with regard to pupils and staff travelling to and from school. Schools are therefore advised to consider allowing pupils to leave school earlier than normal on Friday.

"If this approach is not a viable option for schools, and if they deem it necessary, they may wish to consider applying to the Department for exceptional closure for the whole school, as per the usual procedure.

"Post-primary schools that have pupils scheduled to take public examinations on Friday should have plans in place to deal with any expected disruption. The Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) has already issued a communication to schools advising how to manage this scenario."

(IT)

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