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School reverses decision to deny place to Traveller child

Education Minister Richard Bruton has said his department is taking steps to assist the boy’s family.

File photo
File photo
Image: Shutterstock/kaisaya

Updated 7.31pm

A SECONDARY SCHOOL has reversed its decision not to offer a place to a 12-year-old member of the Travelling community.

The De La Salle secondary school in Ballyfermot said Paddy Flynn’s application was rejected because it was submitted late.

In the aftermath of the decision, the Department of Education offered the boy private tuition. The boy’s parents, who cannot read or write, said they did not know they had to apply to the school.

RTÉ reports the school has now reversed its decision and will meet with the boy’s parents tomorrow.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Minster Richard Bruton said he has “taken measures in legislation that is going to the Dáil” that will give the National Council for Special Education or Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, power to “require a school to take an individual”.

Reducing numbers 

De La Salle College, also known as St John’s College, enrolled 38 first year students this year. Figures sent to RTÉ News show that the school admitted 67 first years in 2015 and 77 in 2014.

Principal Ann Marie Leonard earlier told RTÉ the school had reduced the number of first year classes from four to two due to falling enrolment numbers. She said these classes were full.

The Department of Education said a late application is not a sufficient reason for a school to not offer a child a place unless the school is already full when the application is made.

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

Read: Nine new Educate Together schools opening this week only ‘scratching the surface’

Read: Sending a child back to school costs over €1,000

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Órla Ryan

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