Scholl Attendance

The parents of a child must cause the child to attend a recognised school on each school day. This is not to apply where the  child

  • is registered to receive education outside school
  • such registration as pending
  • is temporarily attending school outside the State
  • there exists  sufficient cause for not attending

Where a child is absent from school during part of a day or more their parent must in accordance with the code of behaviour notify the principal of the child’s absence.

A parent who has experienced problems in ensuring that his or her child attends school regularly may request the assistance of the NEWB. The NEWB shall give such advice and assistance as it considers appropriate.


Where a student is  suspended for a period of more than six days

  • the aggregate number of days exceeds 20
  • the student’s name is removed from the register
  • the  student is not in the opinion of the principal not  attending school regularly

the principal must inform a Welfare Educational Officer in writing.

The educational welfare officer is to consult with the student concerned, his or her parents, the principal and such other persons as he or she considers appropriate, and make all reasonable efforts to ensure that provision is made for the continued education of the child and his or her full participation in school.

A parent who has experienced problems in ensuring that his or her child attends school regularly may request the assistance of the NEWB. The NEWB shall give such advice and assistance as it considers appropriate.

Register of Attendance

The principal of each school must maintain a school attendance record. The record must state whether the child has attended or where he has failed, the facts and reasons for the failure. The records must be maintained by the  school

The board of management of a recognised school shall within six weeks after the end of the school year, submit a report of the Educational Welfare Officer and parents association of the levels of attendance during the school year.

An Educational Welfare Officer may enter a school and inspect the register. He may take copies. Non-attendance for purposes authorised by the principal does not count in the above reckoning.

School Attendance Notice

The NEWB may if it is of the opinion that a parent is failing and is neglecting to cause his child to attend a recognized school, serve a notice on such a parent so requiring. The notice may require him on the expiration of the period, to cause his or her child to attend a recognised school specified and to attend while the notice is in effect. The school attendance notice shall remain in force for such period as specified or until it is revoked by the NEWB.

Before issuing a school attendance notice, the NEWB shall in such manner consider fit,  make reasonable efforts to consult with the parents of the child and the principal of the school concerned. It shall when specifying a school have regard in so far as practicable to any preference expressed by the parents.

A person who contravenes the requirement in the school attendance notice is guilty of an offence, punishable on summary conviction of a fine up to €625 or imprisonment up to one month or both. It is a defence for a parent to show that he has made all reasonable efforts to cause the child to attend a recognised school.

Where a parent is convicted of an offence, or in the proceedings show that he has made all efforts to cause the child to attend, the Board must notify the health authority for the area.

Home Schooling

The Board maintains a register of persons receiving education outside a recognised school. Where a parent chooses to educate a child other than in a  recognised school (including home education) he or she must apply to the Board to have the child registered. The application must be in writing and specify certain details.

After the application is made, the Board is entitled to determine whether the child is receiving the required minimum education. It may cause an authorised person to make an assessment of

  • the education being provided or proposed to be provided
  • the materials used or  proposed to be used
  • the time spent or to be spent in the provision of education.

If necessary, it may cause an authorised officer to enter the place concerned, inspect the premises, equipment and material, carry out an assessment on the child, including an assessment and knowledge of subjects and proficiency in the exercise of such discipline as is appropriate.

Assessments may be carried out periodically. The Board may register the child, provided that it is satisfied that the child is receiving the minimum education as specified.

Copies of reports by the Board are served on the parents who are invited to make representations. The Board must take account of the representations.

Enforcing Minimum

If the Board is not satisfied regarding the receipt by the child of minimum education,  it may register the child subject to the parent undertaking to comply with the requirements specified by the Board to ensure that this occurs.

If the Board is satisfied that the child is not receiving the required minimum education, it may remove the child’s name from the register require that the child complies with such conditions as are specified. If a  parent of a child refuses or fails to give the requisite consent to assessment or give assistance, the Board refuse to register the child or remove the child from the register.

There is provision for appeal against decisions of the Board including refusals to register, conditional registration and requirements for undertakings. An appeal may be made to the Minister/Department within 21 days of the Notice. The  Minister must appoint a committee to hear and determine the appeal.

The Committee shall consist of a District Judge inspector and other persons as the Minister appoints. The Appeal Committee may affirm the decision of the Board, amend it or require registration subject to an undertaking. The Minister may make regulations in relation to the required minimum education.


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