Tuesday 20 February 2018

No ideal formula on school places

Yesterday in the High Court, John Stokes lost a second battle against the refusal of the Christian Brothers High School in Clonmel to accept him as a pupil. But there are more battles to come, possibly in the Supreme Court, possibly in terms of legislation.

John, now aged 14, failed to get a place in the school because he did not fulfil one of the criteria for priority in the competition for places. This was having, or having had, a parent or sibling educated in the school.

Most people would regard that as reasonable grounds for giving priority to an application. But was it fair in this case? John is a Traveller, and the eldest child in his family. In the nature of things, he could not have a sibling at the school, and in his father's time only a small minority of Traveller boys received a secondary education.

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