Barnardos: Docking children's allowance not the way to tackle poor school attendance

Barnardos: Docking children's allowance not the way to tackle poor school attendance

Barnardos says docking parents their children's allowance is not the way to tackle poor school attendance.

It is after new figures show parents have been issued with legal proceedings by Tusla more than 200 times over the past two years because their children attended school so little.

Former Minister Denis Naughten says child benefit should be withheld from parents whose children aren't going to class.

But Suzanne Connolly, the chief executive of the children's charity, disagrees.

"I wouldn't support that at all," she said.

"I think that is just added incredible stress to a family.

"What I would support is that you offer help to a family and you offer help to the parent or the child, having assessed what's needed here.

"It doesn't do anybody any good to bring a parent to court about this. It doesn't help the child.

"So what you need to do is say what services do we need to put in place to get his child or children into school."

Parents and guardians have a legal obligation to ensure their child attends a school or else receives an education elsewhere.

If Tusla feels a parent is neglecting their kid in this regard, it sends them a warning letter, called a School Attendance Notice.

These warning letters were issued in connection with 778 individual children between January 2018 and August of this year.

If a parent ignores one these warnings, they face prosecution and, if convicted, they can be fined and/or jailed for up to a month.

Tusla has issued court summonses relating to 212 individual children during that period.

More on this topic

Lack of funding prevents roll-out of Chinese as school subjectLack of funding prevents roll-out of Chinese as school subject

Call for debate on ‘place of technology’ in schoolsCall for debate on ‘place of technology’ in schools

Irish students among world's best readers, but more say they do not read for funIrish students among world's best readers, but more say they do not read for fun

Irish students among best readers in developed world; 'Challenge remains' for maths and scienceIrish students among best readers in developed world; 'Challenge remains' for maths and science


More in this Section

Two men held after digger used in double ATM theftTwo men held after digger used in double ATM theft

8 National Parks and Nature Reserves to close for Storm Atiyah8 National Parks and Nature Reserves to close for Storm Atiyah

Man due in court over drug, gold and alcohol seizureMan due in court over drug, gold and alcohol seizure

Restricting TDs and Senators from double-jobbing 'needs consideration', says TaoiseachRestricting TDs and Senators from double-jobbing 'needs consideration', says Taoiseach


Lifestyle

This Christmas remember that there is no such thing as cheap food.Buy local: Use your LOAF

As we wait, eager and giddy, a collective shudder of agitated ardor ripples through the theatre, like a Late, Late Toyshow audience when they KNOW Ryan’s going to give them another €150 voucher. Suddenly, a voice booms from the stage. Everyone erupts, whooping and cheering. And that was just for the safety announcement.Everyman's outstanding Jack and the Beanstalk ticks all panto boxes

Every band needs a Bez. In fact, there’s a case to be made that every workplace in the country could do with the Happy Mondays’ vibes man. Somebody to jump up with a pair of maracas and shake up the energy when things begin to flag.Happy Mondays create cheery Tuesday in Cork gig

More From The Irish Examiner