Guidance on remote teaching and learning in the Covid-19 context had been agreed for post-primary schools and centres for education, he told Newstalk Breakfast.
Mr Gillespie said that schools were very unlikely to reopen on Monday, January 11th and that the uncertainty was “not helping anybody”.
The closure should last “at a minimum until the 18th” to see if the spread of the virus had been suppressed under the current restrictions.
“We’re not calling for a long-term closure, we’re just talking for the minimum time possible to allow this. Schools will open, but they’ll open in a remote context and schools have planned for that.”
On the same programme, Labour’s education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said he believed the decision had already been made and it was likely that schools would remain closed until the end of January.
It was not an easy decision for the Government, he acknowledged, but it was one that needed to be announced as soon as possible.
Senior Government Ministers will meet today to consider closing schools until the end of the month.
The Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 will discuss the proposal before a final decision is made tomorrow.