Cabinet Approval Secured for Drafting of Bill for Fairer Schools Admissions

Ruairi Quinn & Alex White - Schools

I want to commend Minister Ruairí Quinn for securing Cabinet approval for drafting of the Admissions to Schools Bill.

I’m acutely aware from Constituents’ representations of the challenges many children face in gaining acceptance to the school of their choice. Regrettably, some schools put barriers in place that put children at a disadvantage.

I’m delighted that these proposals will ensure that each child is treated equally when they apply for a place in a school – that’s the least our children deserve.

With the new Bill there will be a requirement for all schools to make an explicit statement in their admissions policy that they will not discriminate against an applicant for admission on the grounds of disability, special education needs, sexual orientation, family status, membership of the traveller community or race.

The Bill will also enable the National Council for Special Education in respect of children with special educational needs and the Child and Family Agency in respect of other children to designate a place for a child for whom no school place is available.

Research shows that the vast majority of schools admit all the pupils who apply for enrolment. The new Bill will play an important role for the 20% of schools where there is over-subscription.