Friday 20 September 2019

Parents to vote on school patronage

Education Minister Richard Bruton. Photo: Tom Burke
Education Minister Richard Bruton. Photo: Tom Burke
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Parents in four areas will soon be voting on who they want to run a new post-primary school in their region.

Education Minister Richard Bruton has invited applications for the patronage of four schools due to open in September 2019, in the Belmayne/Clongriffin area of north Dublin, Galway City/ Oranmore, Laytown/Drogheda and Wicklow.

Education patron bodies have until June 13 to apply to the Department of Education, and soon after that, parents of children within five years of starting post-primary school in each area will be given an opportunity to make their choices.

The procedure for deciding the patronage of new schools has changed to a new online patronage process system (OPPS), and this represents a pilot run for the new arrangements.

The Department of Education is asking the patron bodies to provide a range of information, such as ethos, on an application form.

Their responses will go online to allow for direct comparisons, and parents will be asked to express a preference for one patron body.

The view of parents is crucial to deciding who is awarded patronage.

Mr Bruton said: "Parental preferences for each patron, together with the extent of diversity currently available in these areas, are key to decisions in relation to the outcome of this process."

Irish Independent

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