The ties that bind and a vision for education
Published 07/04/2015 | 02:30
Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan's intimation that she is intent on revising the so-called "old boy's rule", whereby the children of past pupils are given precedence in enrolment in some schools, is timely.
With the focus on 1916 and the Proclamation, and all that goes with it, treating all of our children equally should be to the forefront of all Government and social policy. The Education Minister, as we report today, is seeking to cut the old-school-tie admission link back to just 10pc. This will limit entrance to only 10pc of the children of former pupils. The perception that privilege or favour should be given to some pupils over others purely on the grounds of past association is hard to justify in the context of significant State support, and intense pressure on scarce resources.
That private schools have done the State proud is not in question. Ties of tradition and links built up over generations count for something, but they are not compatible with ever-shrinking resources and ever-expanding populations.