Quinn: School provision to reflect profoundly changed role of religion20/06/2012 - 12:29:32
The process of divesting patronage of schools in 44 areas of the country is to get underway.
The Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has announced that advertisementss will be placed by the end of June in these areas, inviting submissions of interest for patronage from organisations such as Educate Together or Irish language schools.
It follows the publication of a report from the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in April - which recommended that the Catholic Church should hand over control of schools in some parts of the country.
It also recommended that faith formation, such as Communion and Confirmation, should be taught outside of school hours.
Speaking today, Minister Quinn said he broadly accepted the findings of the report, and he said divestment is needed to reflect Ireland's more diverse population.
"Many people's views about the place of religion in society and in their own lives have undergone profound change," he said.
"This has led to an increase in demand for new forms of multi-denominational and non-denominational schooling.
"This increased demand calls for a plan for the future which will create a better match between the type of school provision available and the make-up of the communities they serve."
He added: "For many parents this will be the first time they will have a real say in the type of primary school they want their children to go to, whether it is denominational, multi-denominational, all-Irish or other.
"Surveys of parents will begin in the first identified town areas in the autumn."
List of areas to be included in initial phase of surveys:
Dublin 6 and 8
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