Greens: Government still biased towards religious schools

7th February 2018

Government policy threatens the viability of Educate Together schools
The Green Party today accused the Government of threatening the viability of Educate Together schools, and showing favouritism towards religious schools.
The Party called for pupil intake restrictions on Educate Together schools, which were put in place to protect the viability of other schools, to be lifted.
Speaking today, Senator Grace O’Sullivan said: “I’m absolutely shocked that the Department of Education is ordering some Educate Together schools to reduce their pupil intake by half for the 2018/2019 academic year in order to protect denominational schools. More and more parents are choosing to have their children educated in non-religious, non-denominational schools, but now, many are having that choice taken away from them. It beggars belief that parents are still being forced to send their children to denominational schools, despite there being alternatives, in 2018.
“My local Educate Together in Tramore, for example, have had their intake reduced to 13 for next year, despite the fact that they have a waiting list of 29 and a young growing population in the town. Other Educate Together schools reduced to half-stream intake include New Ross, Trim, Tuam and Castlebar.
“State supported education should not be biased towards or under the patronage of religious organisations. Parents want access to non-denominational schools. The Government must reverse these restrictions, and allow parents the choice of denominational or non-denominational education.”