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Minister’s decision to examine religious discrimination in school admissions welcomed – Nolan

16 January, 2017

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education and Skills Teachta Carol Nolan has today welcomed the intention of the Minister to examine the issue of religious discrimination in schools admissions policies. Teachta Nolan was speaking from the Sinn Féin think in today in Dublin.

Teachta Nolan said:

“The issue of religious discrimination in school admissions is one that has been highlighted in recent years by campaign groups and is growing in momentum.

“While I recognise that this is not an issue for the vast majority of schools, for those that are oversubscribed particularly in urban and diverse communities, it is a serious and growing concern.

“I welcome the Minister’s apparent shift in position and his intention to examine this issue.

“Teachers’ unions, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, the Ombudsman for Children and the United Nations Human Rights Council have all criticised the current legal provision which allows schools to give preference to children in terms of access based on religious belief.

“Sinn Féin has also been active on this issue and in the last term we published legislation that would have eliminated this form of discrimination.

“Education is a fundamental human right; one that is protected by the Irish constitution and must be available to all children on an equal basis.

“While I sincerely welcome the Minister’s decision to examine the issue, it also must be clear that the consultation process must not be used as a stalling tactic.

“The Schools Admissions Bill is currently before the Committee for examination and any recommendations in relation to this issue must be included in that bill.

“Sinn Féin will not support any bill that allows discrimination to be a feature of schools admissions.

“The Minister has a relatively short period in which to resolve this issue and he must take action to do so now.” 

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