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ANOTHER SCHOOL YEAR NEARLY OVER BUT STILL NO ADMISSIONS REFORM

13 April 2017

Statement by Joan Burton TD
Finance, Education and Skills, and Arts

Labour Party spokesperson on Education, Joan Burton TD has said today that another school year is nearly over but still no progress has been made on reforming school admissions policy, while many schools have already finalised their intake for next year. Meanwhile the Labour Party bill was blocked 10 months ago by the Government and their own bill still hasn't progressed beyond consultation.

Deputy Burton said:

"The census results last week should be a wake up call for the Government on the urgent need for reform to the admissions process for our schools. Nearly half a million people now have no religion and our society continues to become more diverse.

"Last June Labour proposed, and the Dáil debated, our Bill to amend the Equal Status Act and redress the imbalance between the right to maintain denominational schools and the rights of children to receive a secular education in a State-funded school.

"With the support of Fianna Fáil, the Government sent our Bill for public consultation in the Education Committee but nearly a year on nothing has happened."

This school year is nearly over and many schools will have finalised their admissions for next year. Across the country parents will be anxiously trying to figure out where to send their children to school in the years ahead."

"It's time the Government acted to end that uncertainty.

"The Minister launched a consultation in January, three months ago now, but we've yet to see any further progress.

"Local children should have access to their local schools, because local schools serve as the centre of our communities."