Offaly schools must plan for students and staff to remain safely in school if a Red weather alert is declared for the county as Hurricane Ophelia passes over Ireland on Monday.
According to official Department of Education guidance where the Status Red weather warning related to wind is issued when the school is already underway with students and staff present, the school management should immediately contact An Garda Síochána, the school transport services and other appropriate agencies for advice on whether it may be safe to undertake journeys from the school or when such journeys should commence.
The department says consideration should also be taken as to the safety of parents undertaking journeys to the school to collect children.
"Where a decision may have to be taken on health and safety grounds based on the advice available to the school for students and staff to remain on the school premises during a Status Red warning related to wind, then schools should plan for such an eventuality by considering how students and staff can be accommodated within the school while awaiting an improvement in the weather.
"Such decisions should be taken based on the health and safety of all concerned taking account of the prevailing and forecast weather conditions in the vicinity of the school," says the guidance.
An Orange alert is currently in place for Offaly. Bus Éireann cancelled its school bus service in western counties after Red warning was issued for a number of counties last week.
The company has the right to cancel services in other areas with immediate effect for safety reasons.