Written answers

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Department of Education and Skills

School Discipline

Photo of Aodhán Ó RíordáinAodhán Ó Ríordáin (Dublin Bay North, Labour)
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127. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the processes that are in place in her Department to help and support children and young adults who are subject to expulsion from schools; if there is ongoing research or data on the social, economic and educational outcomes for young persons expelled from school; the efforts that are made to try and improve outcomes over extended timescales in view of the vulnerable status of many of these children; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11811/22]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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Under the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 the Board of Management of a school must inform Tusla Education Support Service (TESS) of their intention to expel a student. TESS prioritise expulsion cases. Once the intention to expel notification is received by TESS, 20 school days must elapse before a decision can be made by the Board of Management of the school to expel the student. During this 20 school day period an Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) will contact the parent(s) / guardian(s), or a student who is 18 years or older, to discuss the options available. These include appealing the decision to expel under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998, applying to enrol in another school and home tuition which may be made available where the student meets the qualifying criteria.

In addition during this 20 school day period an Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) will arrange a meeting in line with the provisions of Section 24 of the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 and will discuss the students’ ongoing education during the period they are without a school place. Following the 20 school day period, should the Board of Management of the school uphold the decision to expel the student an EWO will advise and assist the parent(s) / guardian(s), or student if aged 18 years or older, on the options available to them. Home tuition may be provided where the student meets the qualifying criteria. Tusla have produced an information leaflet for parents which provides information on the process:

TESS-Expulsion-from-school-info.pdf (tusla.ie)

My Department provides a range of resources through the DEIS programme, the Special Education Teacher model and the National Educational Psychological Service to ensure targeted supports are provided to those children who need it most. This has meant that Ireland’s school completion rates at post-primary levels are among the highest in Europe. The results of the analysis of the first-time enrolments in secondary school in 2014 showed that, 97.6% went on to sit the Junior Certificate exams in 2017 or 2018 and 91.5% went on to sit the Leaving Certificate exams in 2019 or calculated grades 2020.

An analysis of Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate Retention Rates from 2001 to 2014 shows that the gap has narrowed between DEIS and non-DEIS schools. For the 2014 entry cohort DEIS retention rates to Junior Certificate is 96.3% compared to 97.9% in non-DEIS, a gap of 1.6 percentage points. The gap in retention to Leaving Cert rates between DEIS and non-DEIS schools stood at 16.1 percentage points for the 2011 Cohort. The 2014 retention report results shows a retention gap of 8.6 percentage points for the 2014 cohort. For the 2014 entry cohort the retention rate to the Leaving Certificate of DEIS schools was 84.8% per cent, while for non-DEIS schools, it was 93.4%.


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