News & Media

Govt must prioritise Labour Bill to tackle school absenteeism.

21 November 2019

Statement by Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Spokesperson on Education and Skills, Gaeilge and the Gaeltacht

Commenting on Túsla figures that show over 200 parents being issued with legal proceedings because of poor school attendance by their children, Labour Education spokesperson, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has said Government must enact his Bill to tackle school absenteeism from a younger age.

“Over 18 months ago the Government accepted my Bill to ensure children aged 4 and 5 were recognised under current provisions to tackle school absenteeism. Yet we have seen no movement on this issue, despite over 700 school attendance notices being issued in this time period.

“It is essential that schools are empowered to intervene at the earliest stage to ensure that patterns of poor school attendance can be addressed so that they do not become embedded.

“The vast majority of parents understand the power of education, and that excellent school attendance is the key to maximising a child's educational potential.

“It is essential that we ensure that all children enrolled in primary schools of all ages, come under the remit of the Education Welfare Act to ensure that in the small number of cases where poor attendance patterns are evident, interventions can take place.

“Often when a child reaches the age of six, it is too late to turn the tide of school absenteeism. Children deserve an excellent education, and an educational system that works in partnership with their parents to ensure they can get the most out of their school days. 

“My Bill, which needs urgent attention from Government, will address this.”