THERE has been a â€œsea changeâ€ for the better in the school attendance of a Junior Cert student since the National Education Welfare Board initiated a prosecution against his parents, Limerick District Court has heard.
Judge Aeneas McCarthy was told that the 15-year-old Limerick boy had missed 69 days out of 120 in the current school year, at the end of which he was due to sit the state examination.
Both parents pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that their son attended school, in breach of a school attendance notice issued by the board on January 12, 2012.
The NEWB was taking the prosecution against the boyâ€™s parents, who no longer live together, under Section 25 of the Education and Welfare Act 2000.
Stuart Moloney, an officer with the welfare board and the author of a report on the case, said the NEWB would consent to having the matter adjourned to see whether the boyâ€™s attendance at school improves before he sits the Junior Cert in June.
John Devane, solicitor, explained that the youthâ€™s parents live separately, with the mother looking after the teenager and the father living in a hostel.
â€œHis attendance has improved substantially, in fact there has been a sea change,â€ Mr Devane told Judge McCarthy of the parents attitude to being prosecuted.
Judge McCarthy agreed to adjourn the case to May 29, a matter of days before the Junior Cert is set to begin.
He indicated that his attitude to sentencing the boyâ€™s parents on that date would be influenced by the teenagerâ€™s attendance record in the interim.