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'Baptism barrier' on school admissions lifted

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 03/10/2018. 'Baptism barrier' on school admissions liftedTags: Teachers Parenting

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, is due to sign a Commencement Order today which will enact sections of the Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018.

As part of the process, the Minister will amend the Equal Status Act 2000 which will remove the 'baptism barrier' which up till now has allowed schools to use religion as a selection criteria in school admissions. Some protections will remain to allow children of minority faiths access a school of their faith.

In practice, this change will only impact on schools that are oversubscribed as those that are not oversubscribed must continue to accept all applicants regardless of religion.
It is estimated that approximately 20% of primary schools are oversubscribed. These are mainly located in large urban areas.

From today, schools will also be banned from seeking a booking deposit for school places except in very limited circumstances. Additionally the Minister will also be able to compel a school to open a special class to cater for pupils with special educational needs.

It is expected that additional changes including a 25 per cent limit on the number of children or grandchildren of past pupils a school may enrol and a ban on waiting lists will come into effect for the 2020/2021 school year.


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