Thursday, 1 February 2018

Ceisteanna (40)

Ruth Coppinger

Ceist:

40. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 103 of 18 January 2018, if his attention has been drawn to the fact that other education and training boards that have funded church youth leadership schemes for roles within a church; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4900/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The Deputy will be aware that I have sent a follow-up reply in relation to Parliamentary Question No. 103 2013 of 18 January 2018 in which I indicated that I would ask for a review to be conducted into participation by students in certain youth leadership programmes.

The Deputy may also be aware that the representative body for the sector, Education and Training Boards Ireland, has established a working group which is considering, on a broad basis, issues related to religion in ETBs.  This may be an appropriate mechanism to consider the issues raised by the Deputy and the question of conducting a review in the light of changes in the composition of the student body and the need to ensure an inclusive environment for all students. My officials will bring same to the attention of that group.

My Department is currently working closely with the group on the preparation of a circular that will provide guidance to ETB Post Primary schools on the arrangements that should apply for students wishing to opt out of religious instruction or worship.