Reduced timetables amount to an informal suspension - ombudsman
Children's Ombudsman Niall Muldoon has expressed concern about children being put on reduced timetables inappropriately because the school is finding it difficult to manage their behaviour.
Mr Muldoon said it amounted to an informal suspension. The children most affected are those with disabilities, emotional and behavioural difficulties, or children from a different cultural backgrounds such the Traveller or Roma communities
He was speaking ahead of a hearing at the Oireachtas Education Committee today, the second half of its exploration of the use of reduced timetables.
The ombudsman said another issue was that the use of reduced timetables was "invisible", with no guidelines, no guidance on recording its use and no external monitoring.
Therefore, there is no oversight of its use in individual schools, he warned.
He said reduced timetables could be a positive intervention in exceptional circumstances, but safeguards were needed.