Under the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 schools are obliged to submit a number of reports and notifications that relate to poor school attendance. Poor school attendance needs to be responded to early; otherwise, as research has shown, it can lead to poorer exam results, early school leaving, unsuccessful transfer from primary and poorer life chances for children. Currently schools report/notify the following categories of students to Tusla Education Support Services (TESS).
- School Returns: Schools report all student who have been absent 20 days or more by submitting Student Absence Reports (SAR) twice each year.
- Annual Attendance Report (AAR). Schools report the total number of days lost through absence by submitting an Annual Attendance Report (AAR) at the end of the academic year.
- Educational Welfare Referrals. Where a school principal has a concern in relation to the school attendance of a pupil and having exhausted in-school interventions an Educational Welfare Referral can be made to TESS in relation to these individual pupils.
- Reduced School Day Notifications. Since January 1st, 2022, all students who are on a reduced school day must be notified to TESS.
- Expulsions and suspensions. Schools are obliged to notify TESS where there is an intention to expel a pupil and also must notify TESS where the expulsion has been confirmed. Where a student has been suspended for a period of six consecutive days or a cumulative total of 20 school days a notification must be sent to TESS. These notifications are currently paper based and will be added to the portal in the autumn.
Student Absence and Annual Attendance Reports.
Student Absence Reports (SAR)
Schools are required to submit Student Absence Reports twice each year on those students with serious attendance issues that have been identified during the current academic year i.e. students that have been absent from school for a cumulative total of twenty days or more falling within the following categories:
- Urgent Family Reason
Schools should not submit children with less than 20 days absence on the report. Only children over the age of 6 years and children who have not reached the age of 16 years or have not completed 3 years of post-primary education, whichever occurs later should be reported.
Annual Attendance Report (AAR)
Each recognised school in the State is obliged to submit a report to Tusla Education Support Services on the levels of attendance at the end of each academic year. Schools are required to provide the following data in the AAR:
- Total number of days lost through student absence in the entire school year.
- Total number of students who were absent for 20 days or more during the school year.
- Total number of students expelled in respect of whom all appeal processes have been exhausted or not availed of during the school year.
- Total number of students who were suspended for any number of days during the school year.
What Tusla Portal account do I use to submit Student Absent Reports and Annual Attendance Data?
Please use the same Tusla Portal Account which you have been using to date to complete these reports (your roll number is your username, and you have an unique password). You cannot use this roll number-based account to submit Educational Welfare Referrals or Reduced School Day Notifications. Further details on account types required to submit Educational Welfare Referrals and Reduced School Day Notifications are explained in the next section.
SAR’s and AAR’s can be submitted via the Tusla Portal .
Educational Welfare Referrals and Reduced School Day Notifications
Educational Welfare Referral
Where a school has cause for concern over a student’s attendance, for whatever reason, and in spite of all efforts at resolution made at school level in collaboration with the home, a formal Educational Welfare Referral should be made to Tusla Educational Welfare Support Service (TESS) via the Tusla Portal
Reduced School Day Notification
All students who are enrolled in a school should attend for the full day, except in exceptional circumstances. Reduced school days are defined as:
- a reduced day in school where, by arrangement with the school authorities, a student arrives to school after the usual starting time or leaves before the end of the school day, and/or
- a reduced week where, by arrangement with the school authorities, a student may not attend the full five days each week
A formal RSD Notification should be made, for any student to whom this applies, to Tusla Educational Welfare Support Service (TESS) via the Tusla Portal
What Tusla Portal account do I use to submit Educational Welfare Referrals and Reduced School Day Notifications?
You cannot use your School Attendance Returns account to submit an Educational Welfare Referral or an RSD Notification. You have to create a new TUSLA Portal account and during the registration process you will need to enable Educational Welfare Referral and Reduced School Day Notifications. Each school staff member granted the authority to submit Educational Welfare Referrals or Reduced School Day Notifications require separate TUSLA Portal accounts. All Tusla portal accounts require a unique school managed email address and mobile telephone number (for enhanced security authentication). TUSLA uses two-factor authentication for these submissions given the sensitive and personal nature of the data being submitted by the school.
Please see next section for schools who may already have an existing TUSLA CPW Portal account.
Please note that accounts created for submitting Educational Welfare Referrals or RSD notifications cannot be used for submitting School Returns or AAR data.
Once you have created your account Educational Welfare Referrals and RSD Notifications can be submitted via the Tusla Portal
What if I already have a Tusla Child Protection (CPW) account?
You may already have an existing Tusla Portal Account which you use to make Child Protection Notifications to Tusla. This account has a two-factor authentication (code sent to your mobile phone). You can now also use this account (if it is a school managed account and not a personal account) to submit your Educational Welfare Referrals and Reduced School Day Notifications, but you will have to log on and enable your existing CPW account to submit Educational Welfare Referrals and Reduced School Day Notifications. The steps to do this are as follows.
- Log on to your existing Tusla CPW account
- Click on my account on left hand side
- Click on Update Submission Type
- Tick Educational Welfare Referral and Reduced School Day Notification
- Click Save.