Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (284)

Ruth Coppinger


284. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of schools that have consulted with parents regarding religious instruction or worship in community or education and training board schools in line with section 4 of Circular 0013/2018; the number of schools that have changed their practice regarding religious instruction or worship following this consultation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35181/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Following publication of Circular 0013/2018, a further Circular 0062/2018 was published by my Department to remove any ambiguity about how religious education and religious instruction are delivered in those schools.

Circular 0062/2018 clarifies that in respect of arrangements for religious instruction that students should only be provided with a place in any religious instruction class where there has been a parental request or where appropriate the student, for admission to the class. That choice replaces mandatory placement by the school in religious instruction classes.

Where schools decide to provide for religious instruction classes, parental requests for a place in such classes are unlikely to occur only in a small number of cases. Schools are advised to read both circulars 0013/2018 and Circular 0062/2018 in conjunction with one another.