School attendance records will be released late today from Tusla and data for 2015/2016 will reveal 59,900 students miss school every day. Alarmingly, there's a huge increase in the number students expelled at post-primary level.
The percentage of students absent from class has increased annually for three years in a row. It is estimated that on average each year a primary school student misses 11 days and a secondary school student misses 13 days.
Nearly 13% of primary pupils were absent for 20 days or more in 2016, a rise of 1.2%. The number of secondary school students absent has decreased by 1.3% to 14.9%. The data, compiled by David Miller of the Educational Research Centre, shows that rural areas have almost double the rate of absences you'd find in urban areas.
Suspension rates remain the same at both primary and post-primary levels which 0.3% (primary) and 3.9% (secondary). There were 195 expulsions at second level in 2015/16, up 62 compared with the previous school year. Expulsions in special schools were “disproportionately higher”.There were 19 expulsions from primary schools, a fall of two compared with 2014/15.