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Schools to prepare plans to monitor students attendance

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 08/04/2016. Schools to prepare plans to monitor students attendanceTags: Education And Politics Teachers

New guidelines will require schools to prepare detailed plans on how to monitor their pupils' attendence. Although this requirements have been in place for years under existing legislation, they are only being implemented now by Tusla Child and Family Agency

The guidelines, launched by Tusla, come after it emerged that over 500 parents faced possible prosecution last year due to their failure to ensure their child's attendence at school.

All schools will be obligated to complete student attendence statements and send them to Tusla. As part of the Statements, schools will be invited to consider their culture, the learning environment offered to children and aspects of school life that may encourage attendance, participation and retention in school. Schools are currently required to notify Tusla directly if a student misses more than twenty days of school.

Students most likely to miss school are those who suffer with emotional or behavioural problems. Those with special needs or mental health issues also tend to miss a significant anount of school days. Tusla aims to improve supports for those students missing days and to prevent them from dropping out of school all together.

Eibhlin Byrne, Tusla Director of Educational Welfare Service, spoke about the issue at a conference yesterday:

“If we are to support children and young people in  leading healthy, successful lives there are few more effective ways than ensuring that we support their capacity to attend school and, even more importantly, ensuring that they are full participants in the educational experience.

School attendance is a complex dynamic which requires nuanced strategies for those groups of students or individual students whose educational pathways have become disrupted. Not only do many children and young people have complex personal needs and may face significant challenges such as homelessness and cultural barriers.

Tusla is determined to maximise resources available to it to ensure that all children are enabled to benefit from an education.  By ensuring that all professionals involved in a child’s life work together we are greatly enhancing their capacity to fulfil their potential and to maximise their life chances. "

According to the latest figures, school attendence is poorer in special schools when compared to mainstream primary schools with the amount of twenty day absences being three times higher.

In most cases, children and parents receive adequate support when poor school attendence becomes a problem. However, parents can face prosecution if the problem persists without improvement.


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