Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Ceisteanna (191)

Michael Noonan

Ceist:

267 Mr. Noonan asked the Minister for Education and Science if a child remains the responsibility of primary school until they transfer to secondary school; if so, at what point is a child deemed transferred; if a child does not receive the offer of a place in secondary school, who is then responsible; what should happen to this child; the responsibility of the EWO in these situations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3893/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

In general, once a child completes his or her primary school education and has reached the age of 12 years, the child will progress to a post-primary school. Responsibility for ensuring that a child progresses from primary to post-primary education rests in the main with the child's parents. Under section 17 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, parents are responsible for ensuring that their children attend a recognised school or otherwise receive an appropriate minimum education.

Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 provides parents with an appeal process where a board of management of a school or a person acting on behalf of the board refuses enrolment of a student. Where an appeal under section 29 is upheld, the Secretary General of my Department may direct a school to enrol a pupil.

The Education Welfare Board is required to assist parents experiencing difficulty in ensuring that their children attend school regularly, and will also assist schools in fulfilling their role under the Act. Through the appointment of educational welfare officers, the board provides a welfare-focused service which is accessible to parents, school and others concerned with the welfare of young people.