Equal access tops cherry-picking
Published 13/01/2011 | 09:17
REGARDING John Walshe's article on school enrolment policies on January 11, the ASTI wishes to assert unequivocally that the best schools are those which welcome all pupils from their locality, regardless of needs, backgrounds or abilities.
An audit of second-level schools carried out by the Department of Education and Science in 2008 found no evidence of widespread discrimination in the enrolment practices of schools, but found “pockets of inconsistency” where some schools had “disproportionate shares of pupils of all backgrounds and needs”.
A formal policy position of the ASTI is that the department should either reward schools for their intake of special-needs pupils or penalise those schools found to be effectively discouraging their enrolment.