Analysis of School Attendance Data

Data on non-attendance in primary and post-primary schools are collected by the Child and Family Agency (TUSLA) through the Annual Attendance Report (AAR) also at the student level through the Student Attendance Report (SAR).

The core ‎ AAR dataset consists of four variables: (1) Total number of days lost through ‎student absence in the entire school year, (2) number of students who were absent for 20 ‎days or more in the school year, (3) total number of students expelled in respect of whom all ‎appeal processes have been exhausted, and (4) total number of students who were ‎suspended. The SAR dataset contains data about the type of absences and are categorised as explained (holiday) and unexplained. 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, are included, in accordance with the legislation which stipulates that attendance is compulsory from ages 6 to 16.

The Centre has been involved in analysing TUSLA data for several years and has recently ‎released a report based on analysis of data for the 2017/18 school year, including additional analysis conducted at the student level. ‎The report integrates data for 2017/18 with summary ‎statistics for a five-year period and examines issues separately for the primary and post-‎primary sector.  For primary schools, data are analysed on the basis of whether the school is ‎in a rural or urban location, disadvantaged status of ‎the school, and by county. For post-‎primary schools, data are broken-down by school type (community/comprehensive, ‎secondary, vocational), and by county.