Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 12/01/2023. Tags: Education And Politics
Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has today announced that Corr Na Madadh National School (roll number 17903N), Athlone, will be transferring from Catholic patronage to the local education and training board to become a multi-denominational community national school.Minister Foley said:“Following engagement with the school community of Corr Na Madadh National School as part of the pilot process which I announced in March 2022, I am pleased to announce that the patronage of this school will be transferring to Longford and Westmeath Education and Training Board and the ethos of the school will be changing from Catholic to multi-denominational.
“I would like to thank both the school patron and the Corr Na Madadh school community for their positive, constructive engagement in the process and congratulate Longford and Westmeath Education and Training Board as incoming patron. I also wish to express my thanks to the facilitator appointed by my Department to engage with the school community for his diligent work in this regard.
“I am delighted that this transfer of patronage will increase diversity of provision in the area and that there will be a multi-denominational primary school option for parents in Athlone.”
In March 2022 Minister Foley announced that arrangements are being put in place in a number of towns and areas of cities that have no multi-denominational primary schools at present to run a pilot reconfiguration programme. The Department of Education, with the co-operation of the relevant Catholic Bishops, is conducting the pilot programme in areas where possible demand for more diversity in school type has been identified. As part of this process, the Department of Education has made available a number of independent facilitators to work with school patrons and school authorities at a local level and to engage with school authorities, school staff and parents with a view to agreeing on a transfer of patronage and change of ethos, where there is sufficient demand for this. The voice of the parent and school community is important in the context of a decision to change to a multi-denominational ethos.
Following on from these engagements with the school community and school authorities of Corr Na Madadh National School, the patron has notified the Department of his intention to transfer patronage of the school under the Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity Process. Following consideration of the facilitator’s report on the engagement process, including parental preferences regarding preferred multi-denominational patron, the Department has decided that patronage should be transferred to Longford and Westmeath Education and Training Board, with the school becoming a multi-denominational community national school.
The transfer of patronage of Corr Na Madadh National School marks an important moment in the Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity Process as it is the first school to transfer patronage as a result of the structured engagement process with school communities in the pilot areas announced by the Minister in March 2022.
The reconfiguration engagement process commenced in 2022 in the pilot areas. The engagement at local level should be largely concluded in many of the areas by the end of Q1 2023 and this will help clarify the level of demand for reconfiguration in these areas. The learnings from the process in the pilot areas should provide a pathway forward on the process for providing multi-denominational options for parents in other towns and areas of the country going forward.
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