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Limerick school considering religion opt-out request

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 23/11/2015. Limerick school considering religion opt-out requestTags: Education And Politics Parenting Teachers

According to a report on RTE this morning, Castletroy College, a second level school in Limerick, is to consider whether a first-year pupil can be allowed to opt out of studying religion.

A parent of a student in the school had requested that his daughter be allowed opt out of the subject but was advised by the school that the subject was mandatory. While the Consitution gives parents the right o withdraw their children from religioius instruction, the school advised RTE that parents had always accepted the subject when the school explained it was a Junior Cert exam subject and was for "all faiths and one".

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) says Religious Education for the Junior Certificate allows pupils to "explore how many religions, particularly Christian religions, have shaped the Ireland you live in today" and that at least one of the major world religions will be studied in detail as well as "how different communities of faith organise themselves".

Schools run by ETBs are obliged to teach religion under a stipulation that the Catholic Church made to the State during the development of the original VEC school system.

Castletroy College is to further consider the request by the parent at its' board of management meeting this evening.

Read the full RTE report here.



(23-11-2015 15:34)

Similarly for us at a school in Galway. Tried to make it as hard as possible but we knew our rights and insisted on our son not doing religion. The school at first refused to let him stay in the class so we had to go the school and pick him for religion class and then drop him back. After a lengthy battle and going public with it the school relented so now he does his homework during religion class. Legally the schools don't have a leg to stand on and their only way of enforcing compulsory religion is making it awkward for you.


(26-11-2015 18:24)

In my childrens' secondary school in West Cork lots of children opt out of RE. for religious reasons and also those with certain categories of learning difficulties. It is not an issue at all.


(23-11-2015 10:53)

We'd a similar situation in my daughter's school, a State funded Community School under Roman Catholic ethos in Dublin. Eventually after much persistence the Principal conceded that we could legally opt her out of RE. It was not easy. They put many barriers in our way. But it only made me more determined. Initially our daughter took religion but it was largely a faith formation process with little or no discussion about those of other faiths or with none. Three years of Catholicism and indoctrination ... Less than a week on the Jewish faith. they did the minimum under dept guidelines. During TY the same ritual three RE classes and three classes of maths ..... What a waste of time! During senior cycle pupils watch a significant amount of films .... so no discussion yet again and little to no mention of alternative beliefs. It was an ordeal opting her out ..... letters were ignored, teachers phoned urging us to withdraw our application, we were told that the Board would be unhappy. We're also told it would open the floodgates!! However, persistence paid off and she now has three classes a week to study her maths. It was worth it and I would urge Paul Drury to keep going as he is within his rights under the 1998 Education Act. By the way ... we re not anti religion we were married in church, had all the children baptised, go to church regularly but think unless all religions and none can be treated equally then religion has no place in school. Ps. Pupils can also legally opt out of all RE exams such as Junior Cert.


(23-11-2015 21:31)

Castletroy College agrees to allow pupil to opt out of religion class following BOM meeting this evening

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