Tuesday 24 April 2018

Revealed: How many children miss school through absence every day in Ireland

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Stock photo

Sean Nolan

A new report from Tusla estimates that 59,900 students in Ireland are absent from school each day.

The figure comes from a report called 'School Attendance Data from Primary and Post-Primary School 2015/16' conducted by David Millar of the Educational Research Centre on behalf of Tusla.

The report says that approximately 32,600 primary and 27,300 post-primary students do not attend school each day.

They add that this equates to a loss of 11 school days for a primary school student from the required 183-day school year and 13 days for a post-primary student from the 167-day school year.

The analysis shows that the percentage of overall days lost to non-attendance is on the increase in both the primary and post-primary sector.

The report says 5.9pc of days in primary school (up 0.3pc on last year) and 7.9pc (up 0.2pc) are lost to non-attendance.

Delving deeper into the numbers, the report says that non-attendance in towns and cities are higher than in rural areas and the numbers of students absent for 20 days or more is twice as high in urban areas compared to rural schools.

The analysis also looks at rates of expulsion and 19 pupils were reported to have been expelled from primary schools in 2015/16.

For post-primary the number of students expelled was 195, and increase of 62 on the last report.

Suspension figures were also published, with 13,383 students suspended from post-primary schools in 2015/16.

A total of 1,438 pupils were suspended from primary school over the same period.

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