I move amendment No. 195:
In page 26, to delete lines 5 and 6 and substitute the following:
"‘(b) having heard the health board for the area in which he is resident, make a care order committing him to the care of that board and in".
Under the School Attendance Act, 1926, and an extending order made in 1972, the parents of every child within the ages of six and 15 years of age are obliged to cause a child to attend school unless there is a reasonable excuse for not doing so. Parents who fail to comply may be prosecuted. Section 17 (4) of the 1926 Act provides that where a parent satisfies the court that he has used all reasonable efforts to cause his child to attend school or is convicted for a second or subsequent time of failing to cause his child to attend school, the District Court may send the child to an industrial school or commit him to the care of a fit person in accordance with Part II of the Children Act, 1908.
As Part II of the 1908 Act which deals with fit person orders is being repealed, the courts will no longer be able to commit children to the care of fit persons in school attendance cases. The purpose of this section is to amend section 17(4) of the 1926 Act so as to enable the court to instead, place the child in the care of the local health board. The purpose of this amendment is to require the court before doing so to hear the views of the health board concerned. This is a sensible provision which should help to ensure the smooth operation of this section.