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Minister Bruton commences 4-week consultation process on plans to address the role of religion in school admissions

January 25, 2017

Minister Bruton has announced a 4 week consultation period beginning from today 24th January until 20 February 2017. The consultation document is available on the Department’s website at the following link: “The role of denominational religion in the school admissions process and possible approaches for making changes”

On 16 January 2017, Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton TD made a speech on the subject of the role of religion in the admissions process to primary schools.

In the speech the Minister stated that he believes:

  • it is unfair that a non-religious family, or a family of a different religion, living close to their local publicly-funded school finds that preference is given to children of the same religion as the school living some distance away
  • it is unfair that parents, who might otherwise not do so, feel pressure to baptise their children in order to gain admission to the local school.

The Minister set out four possible approaches for dealing with this subject and stated his intention to seek views from people and groups who might be impacted by the proposed changes or have views on the proposed changes.

The Minister is interested in hearing the views of the groups who stand to be impacted by changes as well as any members of the public with views on this issue.

Among the issues which might be considered in this area include: While this process is not aimed at dealing with the issue of language/Gaelscoileanna, could your preferred approach have potential unintended impacts on that issue?

Submissions should follow the format set out in the consultation document, and should be forwarded to the following e-mail address admissions_religion@education.gov.ie

Please note that feedback will be subject to the Freedom of Information Acts (details available at www.education.ie/en/The-Department/FOI) in which case particular information exempt under the Freedom of Information Acts, such as personal contact details and commercially-sensitive information, may be omitted.

As this is a public consultation submissions may in any event be published on the Department’s website and by submitting feedback you are indicating your consent to this approach and waiving your anonymity.