Thursday, 17 October 2019

Questions (112)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

112. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of children being home schooled at primary level; if they are all in receipt of the home tuition grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42658/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Department of Education and Skills provides for the education of children through the provision of recognised schools. Recognised schools must fulfil a number of conditions regarding curriculum, inspection and other matters.

The Irish constitution recognises the family as the primary educator of the child and defines duties and responsibilities for parents and the State in the education of children.

Section 14 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 makes provision for parents to educate their children in places other than recognised schools, such as in the home or in non-recognised schools.

Children who are educated at home or who attend a non-recognised schools - must be registered with the Educational Welfare Services (EWS) of the Child and Family Agency by their parents/guardians.

Parents must ensure their child receives a certain minimum education. There are detailed Guidelines on the Assessment of Education in places other than recognised schools. The guidelines provide a working definition of “a certain minimum education”. They describe home-based education and offer guidance on how it may be assessed. They also cover the legal background of home education.

Where parents choose to educate their children in places other than recognised schools they have made a decision not to avail of recognised schools.

They are not eligible to avail of resources which they may have accessed through enrolment in a recognised school and do not receive Home Tuition funding from my Department.

The data requested is not available from my Department.  Responsibilility for home schooling matters resides with my colleague, the Minister for Children & Youth Affairs.