Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Questions (172)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

172. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he is satisfied that under the Education (Admissions to Schools) Bill 2016 SENOs will be allowed to exercise their new authority immediately, specifically before the end of the 2017-18 academic year to ensure students have an appropriate place for September 2018. [4943/18]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy will be aware the Education (Admission to Schools) Bill 2016 was published in July 2016. The Bill which passed Committee Stage on 28 June 2017 is an important piece of legislation which strives to create a new more parent-friendly, equitable and consistent approach to how school admissions policy operates for the almost 4,000 primary and post-primary schools in this country.

The Bill provides that where a school has places available it must admit all applicants. There Bill also provides for the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) to designate a school for a child who has no school place for reasons related to the child’s special educational needs.

The Education (Admission to Schools) Bill is scheduled for enactment in the coming term.

Officials in my Department are currently working with the Office of the Attorney General on a number of important amendments to the Bill and it will proceed to Report stage once these amendments have been finalised.