Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (466)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

466. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education if she will provide assistance regarding a school place for a student (details supplied); if an official in her Department will make contact with the student's parent; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26615/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The position is that 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 that 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 board of management make a decision to refuse enrolment, a parent/guardian can appeal that decision to the Secretary General of my  Department or in the case of an Educational and Training Board  (ETB) school to the ETB in the first instance.  A section 29 appeal to the Secretary General of my Department must generally be made within 42 days from the date of notification, by the schools board of management, that a place is not being offered.  My Department has no authority to compel a school to admit a pupil, except in the case of an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 being upheld.

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, Tusla Educational Support Services  (TESS) is the legal body which can assist parents who are experiencing difficulty in securing a school placement for their child. TESS can be contacted at Tusla Educational Support Service, Child and Family Agency, Heritage Business Park, Bessboro Road, Blackrock, Cork or by phone 021-2428622 or by email at tessinfo@tusla.ie 

An official in my Department has contacted this parent to advise on the position.