Missing 1 or 2 days may not seem like much but it can build up. The chart below shows how missing 1 or 2 days can mount up and lead to your child missing out on a significant portion of their learning and socialisation. The more your child misses, the harder it can be for them to return.
|If your child misses||That equals||Which is||Over 6 years of schooling that is|
|1 day a week||33 days per year||Over 6 school weeks per year||1 school year|
|2 days a month||18 days per year||Over 3 school weeks per year||½ a school year|
|1 Maths lesson a week||1/3 of your Maths lessons a week missed||100 hours of Maths across the 3 years of JC||1/3 of the curriculum missed|
Under the Education Welfare Act 2000 parents must inform the school if their children will be absent from school on a school day and the reason for the absence, such as illness. It is best to do this in writing. The Child and Family Agency strongly advises against taking children out of school to go on holiday during term-time.
Parents and guardians have a legal obligation to ensure that their child attends a school or else receives an education. If Tusla considers that a parent is failing in his or her obligation, it must send the parent a School Attendance Notice. The warning outlines that legal action will follow if the child does not attend school regularly. Tusla must make reasonable efforts to consult with the parents and the child, before sending the warning.
If the parent fails to comply with a warning, they may be prosecuted. If convicted, the parent may be fined and/or imprisoned for a month and also fined for each subsequent day that they fail to send the child to school. If the parent claims that suitable alternative education is being provided, they must prove this. It will be a defence for the parents to show that they have made all reasonable efforts to send the child to school – in such cases, the Child and Family Agency must be informed.
Tusla has a leaflet for parents Don’t let your child miss out.