The Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018, which was signed into law by the President on the 18th July 2018, is an important piece of legislation which will introduce a more parent-friendly, equitable and consistent approach to how school admissions policy operates for the almost 4,000 primary and post-primary schools in this country and a fair and balanced school admission process for all pupils.
In relation to waiting lists, the Act provides that, subject to the exception in section 62(11), a school will no longer be permitted to use a selection criteria based on the time or date on which an application for admission is received.
However, in relation to existing lists based on the date of receipt of application, these may be used by schools to offer places, in accordance with the provisions of section 62(11), for a 5 year period following commencement of that section.
A number of sections of the Act were commenced in 2018 and are now operational. My Department has begun the process of consultation with the Education Partners in relation to the preparation of regulations that are required alongside commencement of the remaining sections.
In that regard, I have outlined that it is my intention to commence the remaining provisions of the Act so that they will apply to applications for admission in respect of the 2021/22 school year.