Taking the questions in reverse order, there is no preordained reason why the reserved places have lower entry requirements. They are treated as another course. If a lot of people apply for them, there could be a high threshold. There is a competition for this particular segment. It may have historically been somewhat lower.
In regard to the issue of how the State supports schools of different diverse natures, Ireland is unique in that in primary education we have just ten State schools run by the education and training boards, ETBs. More than 3,100 are private institutions, run by either Educate Together, of which An Foras Pátrúnachta is the patron, or religious denominations. The State has traditionally supported primary education across a range of patrons. Where we introduce new schools now, we allow parents to choose which patron should succeed. We do not say whether it should be a State patron or a non-State patron, but we do seek to ensure that whatever patron succeeds promotes diversity. The de facto situation is that in the past seven years, which is all I can recall or account for, a primary school has never gone to a patron with a denominational ethos. They are all going elsewhere.
However, the State has allowed for considerations of ethos, characteristic and spirit. That is embedded in our legislation. That brings me to Senator Paul Gavan's point. To a degree, the provisions in employment legislation follow on from that. In this case, people who undertake this programme must demonstrate an understanding of and a willingness to support the distinctive ethos of Protestant primary schools. Those are the people who are expected to apply for the places. I know that Sinn Féin has a view that primary schools should be a State provision rather than something provided through private or distinctive institutions of different types. However, the approach in employment law reflects our general approach to educational diversity, rather than trying to be discriminatory. I suspect that trying to change that would be a bit like the ivy root, as they say. We would pull one piece thinking it is distinctive, and then all the rest would follow. I do not know of any proposals to change the provisions to which the Senator refers.