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School Admissions Bill must introduce equality in education – O’Brien

31 March, 2015 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Speaking following news that legislation is going to cabinet this week on school admissions procedures, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien called on Minister Jan O’Sullivan to ensure that this Bill addresses the matters important to parents and children and said that if it failed in this, the government would need to go back to the drawing board.

 The Cork North Central TD said:

 “Although we have not yet seen the reformed admissions procedures the Minister wants to introduce, we are in favour of broad reform of the school admissions system.”

 “However, we are very mindful of the fact that this Bill is not going to address many of the matters important to parents.”

 “We understand that the issue of deposits for waiting lists will be addressed but barring schools from charging €30 to parents to apply for a place for their child will do very little to change things when those same parents will be charged hundreds of euro in voluntary contributions if their child gets in – it’s a drop in the ocean.”

 “Further to this, this admissions bill may streamline the application process but it is not going to address the fundamental problem of children being excluded from schools based on the fact that they are the wrong religion.”

 “No child should be excluded from their local school because of this and I’m calling on the Minister to ensure that the laws are changed to make equality in education a reality.”

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