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School Admissions

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 December 2020

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Questions (432)

Neasa Hourigan

Question:

432. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Education her plans to ensure schools are complying with section 62(7)(n) of the Education Act 1998 obliging schools to publish an admission policy outlining arrangements for students who do not want to attend religious instruction; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40371/20]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

In relation to school admissions, it is the responsibility of the managerial authorities of all schools to implement an enrolment policy in accordance with the Education Acts, 1998-2018.

On 14th January 2020 a number of sections of the Admission to Schools act were commenced introducing new laws around admission to schools which became operational on 1 February 2020. These provisions including the requirement for schools to set out arrangements for students that do not wish to attend religious instruction, apply to the admission processes for the 2021/2022 school year onwards. Circular 7/2020, (Commencement of Certain Sections of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018) requires each school authority to familiarise themselves with the requirements of the act and to have in place the necessary policy, procedures and practices to ensure compliance with it.

Under the provisions of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018, all schools are required to have drafted new admissions policies, which have been approved by the patron, following consultation with staff and parents of children who are attending the school. The newly revised school’s admissions policy is published on the schools website.

The manner in which any school ensures that the right to opt out of religion classes is upheld is a matter for the school concerned. Each individual school must determine the particular arrangements which are most appropriate in its individual circumstances having regard to local issues such as available space, supervision requirements and how the school concerned organises classes etc.

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