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Statement of Board of Education on Minister’s comments on school admissions

The General Synod Board of Education (RI) has welcomed comments by the Minister of Education and Skills concerning the role of religion in schools admissions policies.

Minister Richard Bruton yesterday (Wednesday June 28) set out his preferred policy approach for amending primary school admissions legislation on the issue of the role that religion can play in the process.

Minister Bruton said that his preference was to remove the capacity for state–funded denominational primary schools, where they are oversubscribed, to use religion as a criteria in admissions process except, in three scenarios:

i. where it would not otherwise be possible to maintain the ethos of the school;

ii. where the school is established by a minority religion, in order to ensure that students of that religion can find a school place in a school of that ethos;

iii. where the school is established by a minority religion, in order to admit a student of that religion who resides in a community consistently served by that school.

In a statement, the General Synod Board of Education said: “The Church of Ireland General Synod Board of Education (RI) notes the Minister of Education and Skill’s statement on the role of religion in the school admissions processes and welcomes the recognition by Minister Bruton of specific concerns raised by minority faiths on the impact of new measures on minority faith schools. The Board of Education looks forward to the detail of the proposals and to engaging with the Minister and his officials in relation to the measures and proposed legislative changes.”

Contact Details

Dr Ken Fennelly

Secretary, Board of Education (Republic of Ireland)
Church of Ireland House
Church Avenue
Rathmines
Dublin 6
D06 CF67
+353 (0)1 4125 609

ken.fennelly@rcbdub.org

Dr Peter Hamill

Secretary, Board of Education (Northern Ireland)
Church of Ireland House
61–67 Donegall Street
Belfast
BTI 2QH
+44 (0)28 9082 8860

edunorth@ireland.anglican.org