Aug 26, 2019, Irish Times: ‘Reduced timetable’ system may breach children’s constitutional rights https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/reduced-timetable-system-may-breach-children-s-constitutional-rights-1.3996978 Schools may be breaching children’s constitutional rights by putting them on “reduced timetables” and, when doing so with Traveller children, violating equality legislation, a group of Oireachtas members has warned. ... Putting a child on a reduced timetable entails the school telling parents or guardians that their child may only attend for a reduced period each day, sometimes for an hour or less. The child will be marked “present” and so their absence for some, or most, of the school day is not recorded. Nor is it reported to the Department of Education, or to Tusla, the child and family agency which oversees school attendance. As the practice is neither reported nor recorded, it remains unclear how widespread it is, though concern is increasing that it is mostly used among children already disadvantaged in the education system, including Travellers, children with special educational needs and children from poorer backgrounds. Some schools put children on a reduced timetable in an effort to manage behavioural issues or in cases where they do not have resources to meet the needs of certain pupils….
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