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Monday, 11th November 2019

Breathnach supports Tusla initiative as child absenteeism in Louth above national average

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Declan Breathnach TD.

Louth TD Declan Breathnach (FF) has called on Louth schools to support a new initiative to increase school attendance.

The Child and Family Agency, Tusla have launched the The Tusla Education Support Service (TESS) to promote school attendance, retention and participation.

The latest report from Tusla on primary school attendance is from the 2016/17 academic year and it found that Louth had a higher rate of absent children per day (5.9%) than the national average (5.6%). It also found that 12.9% of Louth children missed 20 days of primary school in a year, compared to the national average of 10.9%.

Breathnach, who was a former primary school teacher and principal commented “It’s disappointing that Louth has a higher absentee rate than the National average, although we can take some encouragement that the number of expulsions and suspensions in Louth is in line with or lower than the average.

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“First and foremost, under the Education (Welfare) Act parents are responsible for ensuring their child goes to school. However, Tusla have said factors such as mental health problems, unemployment and homelessness increase the likelihood of children missing school.

"This is a problem that needs joined up thinking from Government Departments. It’s not acceptable that 60,000 children are missing from primary school every day.

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