CLM made a submission to the Joint Oireachtas on Education and Skills in relation to the use of reduced timetables in schools, and were delighted to be invited to speak at the Committee meeting held on the 4th of July. We highlighted the damage reduced timetables cause as an informal method of school exclusion, a practice which operates outside of the formal school suspension system and the safeguards (such as the right to appeal) contained within that system. We also highlighted how the practice disproportionately affects vulnerable groups such as children with disabilities and members of the Travelling community, and how it contributes to the high rates of non-school completion among groups at a socio-economic disadvantage.
CLM outlined a number of recommendations, including the recording of shortened school days in school attendance data, clarifying the legality of the practice/implementing legislation governing the matter and disseminating national guidelines on the use of reduced timetables. Thanks to the input of CLM, as well as those of the other stakeholders, further action on the matter has been promised. Fiona O’Loughlin TD, chair of Committee, has committed to re-examining the issue in the autumn, as well as the publishing a full report subsequent to the interim report already released. You can read our submission here.
You can also read the Joint Committee’s interim report here.