The Simon Communities in Ireland welcome the opportunity to make this invited submission to the Joint Committee on Education and Skills focusing on the barriers to education facing vulnerable groups. People experiencing homelessness are among the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in society. Far from a uniform demographic, people experiencing homelessness are not a homogenous group. They are a diverse group of people that include women, young people, families, those with complex mental and physical health needs and people with problematic drug and alcohol use. According to the most recent figures published by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG), in January 2018 there were 9,104 people currently trapped in Emergency Accommodation including 1,517 families, 3,627 children and 3,715 adults without dependents in their care.1 This is in addition to the many thousands of households living precariously in hidden homeless situations or unstable tenancies experiencing ongoing housing instability that remain beyond the reach of official data collection.