Tuesday, 14 June 2022
Department of Education and Skills
1030. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of children currently on reduced timetables who have been notified to her Department under the new guidelines; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30400/22]
1031. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of children with disabilities who are currently on reduced timetables who have been notified to her Department under the new guidelines, by each diagnostic category; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30401/22]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 1030 and 1031 together.
A commitment was made under the Programme for Government to ensure robust data collection on the use of reduced school days and to further ensure that they are only used in a manner that is limited, appropriate and absolutely necessary.
My Department issued guidelines to schools on reduced school days in September 2021 which came into effect from 1st January 2022. My Department is working closely with Tusla Education Support Service to ensure that all students are supported to the greatest extent possible to attend for the full school day.
Tusla Education Support Service are tasked with gathering data from schools in relation to the use of reduced school days. It is my intention to publish this data in the near future and details of this will be on my Department's website.
1032. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of young persons who have had suspensions or expulsions notified to her Department in this academic year since January 2022; if she will provide the comparable data for the period 12 months previously; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30402/22]
Under the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, schools are obliged to notify Tusla (educational welfare officers) when the school intends to expel a student. The educational welfare officer shall, after receiving a notification, make all reasonable efforts to ensure that provision is made for the continued education of the student to whom the notification relates.
The data requested by the Deputy in relation to expulsions is contained in the following table. Given the period of school closures in 2020 and 2021, detail on previous school years is also included for comparative purposes.
|-||2018-2019||2019-2020||2020-2021||2021-2022 August – December||2021-2022 January – Present|
|Total intentions to expel received||378||228||141||71||114|
|Total expulsions confirmed||255||155||100||53||57|
Schools are also obliged to report to Tusla where a student is suspended for a period of not less than 6 consecutive school days.
Data on suspensions from January 2022 is not yet available as the data in respect of suspensions is submitted by schools to Tusla via the Annual Attendance Return/Student Absence Report at the end of the school year.