Education for everyone, except the children of the Irish godless
Kids of all religions are equal when it comes to school admissions -- some more so than others, finds Carol Hunt
The news last week that two schools in south Co Dublin had decisions regarding their admissions process overturned by the Department of Education was rather surprising. Also surprising was the fact that many parents didn't seem to know that Irish schools regularly discriminate in favour of, and against, local children of certain religions and none. And that it is their legal right to do so.
Under section 15(2)(d) of the current Education Act, school Boards of Management are required to uphold "the characteristic spirit of the school as determined by the cultural, educational, moral, religious, social, linguistic and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school".
So for instance, a Catholic school is required to remain just that -- with, one presumes, a majority of its pupils belonging to the Catholic faith. Which is why the Catholic school of Oatlands in Stillorgan, Co Dublin, with requests for admissions far outweighing the number of places they could offer, made the decision to give priority to Catholic children from January 2011.