Opt out Sample Letters




Note: if you have not already done so, please also read our introductory page of key facts about opting your child out of religious education classes.


This letter should be addressed to the Principal. If you do not get a reply within two weeks write to the Board of Management.


If you do not get a reply or they refuse to let you opt out your child from any Religious teaching, formation and Religious Services

contact the Office for the Ombudsman for Children here. You can also Contact the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission here.

 



Letter for Primary Schools

Dear ...

I wish to exercise my Constitutional Right under Article 44.2.4 to opt my child out of any Religious teaching, formation and any Religious services.

Section 30 – 2 (e) of the Education Act 1998 reads: “Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Minister – shall not require any student to attend instruction in any subject which is contrary to the conscience of the parent of the student or, in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student.”

As the Religious class, religious formation and religious services are contrary to my conscience I wish to opt (child’s name) out. Please confirm this in writing and please do not discuss this matter with my child.

I/We would also like to point out that under GDPR requirements there is no need for any school to ask our religious affiliation or whether we have any religious affiliation. There is also a requirement not to put us in a position where we would have to reveal our convictions in order to opt out our child.

Yours faithfully,
 



Letter for Primary Schools

Dear ...

I wish to exercise my Constitutional Right under Article 44.2.4 to opt my child out of any Religious teaching, formation and any Religious services.

Section 30 – 2 (e) of the Education Act 1998 reads: “Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Minister – shall not require any student to attend instruction in any subject which is contrary to the conscience of the parent of the student or, in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student.”

In addition Article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that:-

“ States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. “

The Guidelines for the Inclusion of other faiths in Catholic schools recognises that there is a right to opt out of religion in second level schools and of course this can only apply to primary level as well. On page 11 it states that:-

“Withdrawal from RE Class.
Some parents, however, do have concerns and may wish to withdraw their child from RE class, as is their constitutional right.

A student cannot be required to receive religious education from a particular faith basis against the wishes of the student’s parents or against his or her own wishes once he or she turns eighteen years of age. However, withdrawal from religion class needs to be negotiated with school management and hopefully addressed during their enrolment meeting.”

http://www.schoolethos.ie/webfm_send/718

I wish to opt (child’s name) out of this class. Please confirm this in writing and I would ask you not to discuss this matter with my child.

I/We would also like to point out that under GDPR requirements there is no need for any school to ask our religious affiliation or whether we have any religious affiliation. There is also a requirement not to put us in a position where we would have to reveal our convictions in order to opt out our child.

Yours faithfully,
 

The following sample letter is for religious parents who wish to opt their child out of religion teaching classes, formation and religious services



Letter for Primary Schools

Dear ...

I wish to exercise my Constitutional rights under Articles 44.2.4, Article 42.1 to opt my child out of any religious teaching, celebrations and any teaching that is against my conscience.

Section 30 – 2 (e) of the Education Act 1998 reads: “Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Minister – shall not require any student to attend instruction in any subject which is contrary to the conscience of the parent of the student or, in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student.”

As the Goodness Me Goodness You Course is against my conscience I wish to opt (child's name) out of this course and any celebrations connected with the course. Please confirm this in writing and I would ask you not to discuss this with my child.

I/We would also like to point out that under GDPR requirements there is no need for any school to ask our religious affiliation or whether we have any religious affiliation. There is also a requirement not to put us in a position where we would have to reveal our convictions in order to opt out our child.

Yours faithfully,
 

The following letter is for parents who wish to opt out their child from the Goodness Me Goodness you course in ETB Community National Schools



Letter for Secondary Schools

Dear ...

I wish to exercise my Constitutional Right under Article 44.2.4 for my child not to attend any religious teaching and any religious services.

Section 30 – 2 (e) of the Education Act 1998 reads: “Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Minister – shall not require any student to attend instruction in any subject which is contrary to the conscience of the parent of the student or, in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student.”

As the NCCA Religious Education course is contrary to my conscience I wish to opt (child’s name) out of this course. Please confirm this in writing and I would ask you not to discuss this matter with my child.

I would also like to refer you to Circular Letter M19/1999 issued by the Department of Education in relation to the NCCA Religious Education Course. This Circular Letter was issued when the subject was introduced in second level schools.

This Circular Letter clearly states that the subject is optional. For your information here is a link to that Circular Letter https://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Archived-Circulars/M19_99.pdf

I/We would also like to point out that under GDPR requirements there is no need for any school to ask our religious affiliation or whether we have any religious affiliation. There is also a requirement not to put us in a position where we would have to reveal our convictions in order to opt out our child.

Yours faithfully,
 



Letter for Secondary Schools

Dear ...

I wish to exercise my Constitutional Right under Article 44.2.4 to opt my child out of any Religious teaching, formation and any Religious services.

Section 30 – 2 (e) of the Education Act 1998 reads: “Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Minister – shall not require any student to attend instruction in any subject which is contrary to the conscience of the parent of the student or, in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student.”

In addition Article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that:- “ States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. “

The Guidelines for the Inclusion of other faiths in Catholic schools recognises that there is a right to opt out of any religious teaching. On page 11 it states that:-

“Withdrawal from RE Class. Some parents, however, do have concerns and may wish to withdraw their child from RE class, as is their constitutional right. A student cannot be required to receive religious education from a particular faith basis against the wishes of the student’s parents or against his or her own wishes once he or she turns eighteen years of age. However, withdrawal from religion class needs to be negotiated with school management and hopefully addressed during their enrolment meeting.”
http://www.schoolethos.ie/webfm_send/718
I wish to opt (child’s name) out of this class. Please confirm this in writing and I would ask you not to discuss this matter with my child.

I/We would also like to point out that under GDPR requirements there is no need for any school to ask our religious affiliation or whether we have any religious affiliation. There is also a requirement not to put us in a position where we would have to reveal our convictions in order to opt out our child.

Yours faithfully,
 

The following sample letter is for religious parents who wish to opt their child out of any Catholic religion classes, formation or services

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