Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (260)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

260. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a second-level school place will be found to meet the requirements of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34797/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Educational Welfare Service (EWS) of the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) is the statutory body which can assist parents who are experiencing difficulty in securing a school placement for their child. The EWS can be contacted at 01 7718633 / 01 7718500.

The selection and enrolment of pupils is the responsibility of the management authorities in each individual school.  My Department’s main responsibility is to ensure that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all pupils seeking places in an area. However, this may result in some pupils not obtaining a place in the school of their first choice. As schools may not have a place for every applicant, a selection process may be necessary. This selection process and the enrolment policy on which it is based must be non-discriminatory and must be applied fairly in respect of all applicants.

Under section 15(2)(d) of the Education Act 1998, each school is legally obliged to  disclose its enrolment policy and to ensure that as regards that policy the principles of equality and the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parent’s choice are respected.

Under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 where a school board of management makes a decision to refuse enrolment, a parent or guardian can appeal that decision to the Secretary General of my Department. Where the appeal involves an Education and Training Board (ETB) school, the appeal must be made to the local ETB in the first instance. Further information on the Section 29 Appeals process is available on my Department's website at

www.education.ie/en/Parents/Services/Appeal-against-Permanent-Exclusion-Suspension-or-Refusal-to-Enrol.