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New Bill For Admissions To Schools Approved


The Government approved The Education (Admission to Schools) Bill 2016 today. The Minister of Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD announced that legislation will be enacted before September 2017 and the Minister has written to all opposition parties seeking to consult on the legislation.

Minister Bruton said: “The basic aim of this Government is to use our economic success to build a fair and compassionate society. Few areas are more important to this vision than education. This legislation is a significant public service reform designed to make it easier for parents to more easily access local schools and to enrol their children in a school that meets their needs.”

Minister Bruton also said the legislation will increase the transparency and fairness of school admissions. “It makes clear that every school must be welcoming of every young person – regardless of the colour, their abilities or disabilities.” He said that it will help to end the soft barriers that some of our schools erect in the way of children with special needs.

The new law will ensure that where a school is not oversubscribed it must admit all students applying. The legislation will ban waiting lists, discrimination and fees relating to admissions and require all schools to publish their admissions policies, allowing for pupils to decline in participating in religious instruction if they wish to do so.

Schools will also be asked to consult with and inform parents when changes to admissions policies are made. Children with special needs who can not find a school placement will be allowed to ask the National Council for Special Education or Tusla to designate a school placement for the child.

“Overall, I consider that the changes now being brought forward will make a very significant contribution to ensuring that all our children have improved access to schools and have every opportunity to reach their full potential,”the Minister concluded.

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