Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Education and Skills
386. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if schools have been directed to record non-Covid-19-related absenteeism in school children, for example, having a seasonal bug as Covid-19; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44333/20]
The Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 requires the reporting of pupil absenteeism in certain circumstances to Tusla Education Support Service (TESS). The act requires the principal of a recognised school to maintain records of the attendance or non-attendance on each school day of each pupil registered at that school. There has been no change to these requirements.
In responding to referrals made while we are impacted by Covid-19 - TESS will take into account the requirement for pupils who feel unwell with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or who have been informed to self-isolate or restrict their movements and not to attend school. The same will apply for pupils who may be absent from school due to other genuine illnesses unrelated to COVID-19