362. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of young persons under 18 years of age in direct provision not attending school. [31312/19]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): While an international protection claim is being examined, the Reception and Integration Agency(RIA) offers accommodation and related services to anyone without means. The Department of Education and Skills provides school places for children resident in the centres.
All children in Ireland, including children seeking international protection, can access pre-school, first and second level education in a manner similar to Irish nationals, until they have reached the age of 18 years.
Children residing in accommodation centres under contract to the Department of Justice and Equality to accommodate international protection applicants are provided with information and assistance regarding enrolment in local schools. The assistance of TUSLA Educational Welfare Service is sought where there are local difficulties in securing a school place.
The Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) does not maintain statistics on the school attendance of children residing in accommodation centres.