Quinn challenges Catholic schools to cater for all faiths

The Education Minister Ruairí Quinn is challenging the Catholic Church to explain how their schools can be "genuinely inclusive" for children of all faiths.

In an address to be delivered at a teacher union conference today, Mr Quinn says it is "disappointing" that the Church has failed to give concrete examples as had been requested.

The Education Minister is expected to receive a frosty reception at the INTO teachers conference in Kilkenny when he takes to his feet to deliver his remarks on the state of primary education.

In that speech, he is expected to lay down a challenge to the patrons of Catholic schools to explain how its schools will cater for children of all faiths or none.

The Irish Times says he will tell teachers it is "disappointing" that the Church has failed to provide such information as it had previously promised.

Ruairi Quinn is currently working on a White Paper on "inclusivity" in areas where there are only Catholic schools and that is expected to include suggestions that religion classes should be timetabled at the start or end of days to minimise disruption.

The Minister's speech will be delivered this morning before he moves on to the ASTI secondary teachers conference in Wexford.

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