Noel Kelly, Director, Tess (left); Áine O’Keeffe, National Manager, Tess (second from left); Maria Tobin, National Manager, Tess (third from right); Bernard Gloster, CEO, Tusla (right);
Tusla Education Support Service or tess is launching its first national, School Attendance Drive ‘Every School Day Counts’ to promote regular school attendance.
Each school day approximately 60,000 students miss school in Ireland.
Tess is running an attendance drive throughout the month of November, when attendance traditionally dips, to encourage and promote the importance of regular school attendance with children, young people, parents and schools.
In addition, tess believes that attendance is everyone’s business and encourages the wider community to come on board and endeavour to make ‘Every School Day Count’ this November and throughout the school year.
Over 1700 schools right across the country have already signed up to the drive, including 60 from Kildare and will be running attendance initiatives in their schools throughout the month.
During the launch, the service will also be unveiling its new name and logo as part of its brand refresh project, to highlight the integrated supports available through its three service strands – Educational Welfare Service; Home School Community Liaison Scheme; and School Completion Programme. The three services work with children, young people, parents, schools and community family support services to improve attendance, participation and retention.
Addressing over 350 attendees, including government representatives, education professionals, children and young people, Bernard Gloster, Chief Executive of Tusla said, “Research has shown again and again that regular school attendance is vital in helping children get the best possible start in life. It lays the foundation for developing good social skills, building relationships and achieving success later in life. Children who attend school regularly are more likely to stay in school and achieve better educational outcomes.”
Noel Kelly, Director of Tusla Education Support Service, added, “Access to education is a child’s right. We know that investing in education is the most effective way of offsetting the impact of poverty and helps create a level playing field, which gives children from disadvantaged backgrounds a better chance to reach their potential.
Equal access to educational opportunities has the power to pull families and communities out of the cycle of poverty which in turn can help generations to come. The focus of our work in tess is to give additional support to the most marginalised 8% of children and young people in our education system who are most likely to leave school early without any qualifications.”