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Changes to school enrolment procedures proposed

The Minister for Education has published a discussion document containing proposals that would ban school administration practices that disadvantage some children.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE MINISTER FOR Education has proposed changes in schools’ enrollment systems, which he says could eliminate unfair practices.

Minsiter for Education Ruairi Quinn presented a discussion document today, which he said was intended to “provoke debate on enrolment policies”.

Among the points raised in the document was the suggestion that schools should not operate lengthy waiting lists, as this poses a disadvantage to families that are new to an area. Similarly, it was suggested that schools should not preference children whose siblings have attend the same school, or who are related members of staff.

In addition, the department said it was unfair for a school to decide on the enrollment of a child based on a parent’s linguistic ability – including Gaelscoils. The minister also condemned free schools demanding deposits to secure places.

The Irish Times reports that appeals by parents whose children have been refused places have risen by 750 per cent since the appeals process was introduced in 2002.

Read the Department of Education’s Discussion Paper >

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