Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Questions (1111)

Róisín Shortall


1111. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 1088 of 5 March 2020, the factors which determine the allocation of educational welfare officers across the five regional areas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4829/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The aims and objectives of the statutory Educational Welfare Service (EWS) are to ensure that every child attends school regularly and vindicate every child’s entitlement to a certain minimum education. Educational Welfare Officers (EWOs) work with families and children to overcome barriers to their school attendance, participation and retention; and work closely with schools, educational support services and other agencies to support school attendance and resolve attendance problems for the benefit of children and families.

Where a school principal has a concern in relation to a pupil’s school attendance and where the school has made all local efforts to resolve the problem a referral can be made to EWS.

When referrals are received by the EWS team they are screened by a Senior Educational Welfare Officer. All completed referrals are placed in priority order and are assigned to the EWO team accordingly. At any stage a principal can follow up with the EWS to ascertain the status of a referral.

EWOs are allocated to the 5 TESS Regions based on evidence and having considered a range of factors which include: the geographical size of a region, the number of schools in a region, the number of DEIS schools in a region, the number of referrals in a region over the previous three years, the complexity of the cases arising in the region and a range of other factors that impact demand.

The table below illustrates the 5 EWS regions and the staffing complement per region:

Region 1

Region 2

Region 3

Region 4

Region 5

Southern Area: Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Tipperary,

South County Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow, Waterford, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny.

North Dublin City, South Dublin City, Clondalkin and Lucan

West/North-West: Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford, Offaly, Laois, Westmeath.

Fingal, Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan