Wednesday 22 November 2017

New rules on admissions are approved by cabinet

Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan will release details of the changes envisaged in coming days, after the bill on schools admissions was passed by Cabinet yesterday
Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan will release details of the changes envisaged in coming days, after the bill on schools admissions was passed by Cabinet yesterday
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

The Government has approved proposed new laws to overhaul school admission rules - but no decision has been taken yet on the extent of the limits to be imposed on the enrolment of children of past pupils.

Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan will release details of the changes envisaged in coming days, after the bill on schools admissions was passed by Cabinet yesterday.

The new law is intended to pave the way for more fairness and transparency in the school admissions process.

Among the proposals is a ban on schools seeking deposits from parents to reserve a place for a child.

The much-anticipated bill has generated a lot of controversy over the provision to restrict the number of children of past pupils that a school may enrol. Currently, there are no limits.

But, while the legislation will provide a framework for limiting the number of children of past pupils in a school, the actual figure will not emerge until the publication of follow-up regulations.

Former Education Minister Ruairi Quinn proposed that it be capped at 25pc, but Ms O'Sullivan says that she sees no reason why it should even be at 25pc.

Those opposing to capping enrolments of children of past pupils, including elite schools, have strong backing within the ranks of Ms O'Sullivan's Cabinet partners, Fine Gael.

It remains to be seen what further pressure is applied during the passage of the bill through the Oireachtas.

Irish Independent

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