Written Answers. - School Attendance Officers.

Liz O'Donnell

Question:

251 Ms O'Donnell asked the Minister for Education the number, for each local authority, of school attendance officers who monitor attendance and truancy levels in our schools; the procedures, if any, that are in place for follow-up action arising out of reports filed to her Department or other agencies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1115/94]

The number of School Attendance Officers serving in those areas which have a School Attendance Committee established under the School Attendance Act 1926 is as follows: Dublin — 22; Dún Laoghaire — 1 (vacancy); Cork — 4; Waterford — 1.

In all other areas the Garda Síochána have responsibility for school attendance. Details of the number of gardaí involved with school attendance are not available to my Department.
Detailed operational procedures, follow-up action and reporting arrangements on incidences of truancy are a matter for the relevant enforcement authority.
My Department carried out a review of the operation of the School Attendance Act, including an examination of the roles and responsibilities of the various agencies involved. I published the resulting report on 8 April 1994.
Copies of the report were circulated to interested parties who were asked to submit their considered views on it to the Department.
The report together with submissions received from interested parties will form the basis for my proposals to update the legislative provisions in this area.