Parents and carers have a legal duty to ensure that their children of compulsory school age receive a suitable full-time education. It is also vital that they encourage their child's regular and punctual attendance at school. If a child is registered at a school then it is vital that they attend on a regular basis


In light of the COVID-19 pandemic some attendance codes have been amended to reflect the current situation. Please see DE Circular 2023/11 for full details.

DE Attendance Telephone Number is 02891 279543. 

The C2K helpline number should you require it is: 08000 931 541

Parental Responsibility

It is important that everyone works together to help children obtain the best possible start in life with a good education.  Parents should work in partnership with the school, notifying the school of the reason for any of their child’s absences and highlighting any areas of concern they may have so they can be addressed promptly. 

Support for Parents

The Department in conjunction with EWS have produced a leaflet called - Attendance Matters - A Parent's Guide.  This leaflet has been issued to all Primary and Post-Primary Schools to be distributed to all Pupils.  Schools can print additional copies as required. 

Attendance Information

School Management of Pupil Attendance

The recording of pupil attendance/absence should be at the beginning of the morning and afternoon registration sessions using the codes on the C2k system.  This enables schools to record pupils' attendances or absences, the reasons for the absence and whether the absence was authorised or unauthorised.

Circular 2023/11 - Attendance Guidance and Absence Recording by Schools provides guidance to schools on managing pupil attendance and on the use of the  C2k codes.

A sample template form that schools may wish to consider using as a notification form for completion by parents or carers when their child returns to school following an absence can be found on the Department's website at Absence Notification Form

The Form SA1 should be used by schools to remove a pupil from the general register of a school.

Education Welfare Service

Every school has a link Education and Welfare Officer (EWO). Their aim is to reduce unnecessary absences from school by offering support and help to pupils, parents and schools.  A school must make a referral to Education Welfare Service when a pupils' attendance is a cause for concern or when attendance drops below 85%.

The EWO can suggest things that parents can do to help improve matters, can offer to go to the school with parents to talk to the staff about any problems and what needs done or can attend the school on their behalf to try and find answers to their child's problems.  The EWO can put parents in touch with other agencies that may be able to offer further advice and help. If the problem is of a practical nature, the EWO can also offer advice about free school meals, uniform grants and transport to school.

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