Good news for worried parents
Days missed by schoolchildren due to Covid-related issues will not be counted in the overall number of school absences, Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman has confirmed.
The Department of Education is required by law to notify Tusla if a student misses more than 20 days in the academic year.
There are fears rates of absenteeism may be higher in the 2020/2021 academic year as a result of the Covid crisis, with parents keeping students home if they show any symptoms of coronavirus, or where there are concerns about being a close contact of a confirmed case.
Mr O’Gorman confirmed that if a child has to miss school due to any legitimate Covid reason including where there’s a confirmed case or the requirement to quarantine, this will not count towards absenteeism rates.
“The school will note such absences as explained when completing the bi-annual report,” he told the Dáil.
“They’re going to adopt a fair and balanced approach in assessing absences.”
He also said high-risk students who have to remain at home due to concerns about Covid will not have those days included in their overall absence rate.