Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (232)

Marc MacSharry

Ceist:

232. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the case of a child (details supplied) in County Leitrim will be reviewed; his views on whether this is unacceptable; if the case will be prioritised with a place made available to them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8162/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The selection and enrolment of pupils is the responsibility of the management authorities in each individual school. 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 make a decision to refuse enrolment, suspend a student for 20 or more days or permanently exclude a student, a parent/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 Departments website at the following link:

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

In addition, 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 Educational Welfare Service, Child and Family Agency, Unit 19 Sandyfort Business Centre, Grealistown, Bohermore, Galway or by phone at 091-385302.

Where a child is temporarily without a school place, is without an offer of a school place and is actively seeking a school placement in a recognised school my Department may approve a grant to engage a suitably qualified tutor to provide up to 9 hours home tuition per week for that child.

This home tuition grant scheme is operated by my Department with the assistance of the Educational Welfare Service (EWS) and in order for an application for a home tuition grant to be considered by my Department the local Educational Welfare Officer (EWO), must first confirm that the child’s circumstances meet the criteria of the scheme.

My Department has been in contact with the Educational Welfare Service in relation to the child referred to by the Deputy to ensure that the matter is followed up at local level with the family involved.