New Atheist Ireland report – Schools are defying new law on admission policies

A new Atheist Ireland report shows that schools are defying a new law on admission policies. Carl O’Brien of the Irish Times has written about this report this morning.

Section 62.7(n) of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 requires schools to publish an admission policy which will include details of the school’s arrangements for students who do not want to attend religious instruction.

The purpose of this requirement is to provide transparency from the outset so that parents know these details before they choose a school for their children.

This Report by Atheist Ireland outlines the requirements of Section 62.7(n) and how schools are refusing to comply with it. It includes details of how 100 sample schools address the issue in their Admission Policies for 2020/21.

Some schools do not refer at all to this requirement. Of those that do refer to it:

  • Most denominational schools try to evade the requirement by stating that parents must seek a meeting with the Principal to discuss the arrangements.
  • Most ETB schools try to evade the requirement by making a spurious distinction with no legal basis between religious instruction and religious education.
  • Most schools do not address the right to not attend the class, i.e. the right to not physically leave the classroom and be supervised or get another subject.
  • Some schools unlawfully ask parents to give reasons for wanting their children to not attend religion classes of any description thus breaching the right to privacy.
  • These evasions are coordinated, based on common templates from either the Catholic Church, the Edmund Rice Schools Trust, or the Education and Training Boards.
Contents
  1. The Requirements of Section 62.7(n)
  2. How Schools are Not Complying with Section 62.7(n)
  3. 40 Sample Catholic Primary Schools
  4. 25 Sample Catholic Second Level Schools
  5. 25 Sample ETB Schools
  6. 10 Samples of Other Patron Bodies

1. The Requirements of Section 62.7(n) of the Act

Section 62.7(n) of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 states that:

“62.7 An Admission Policy shall…

(n) provide details of the school’s arrangements in respect of any student, where the parent of that student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, has requested that the student attend the school without attending religious instruction at the school (which arrangements shall not result in a reduction in the school day in respect of the student concerned)”

What is the purpose of this requirement? Here are some quotes about it from Minister for Education Richard Bruton during the Oireachtas debate:

“The Bill also requires schools to publish an Admission Policy which will include details of the school’s arrangements for students who do not want to attend religious instruction. This is an important measure which will help ensure transparency from the outset as to how a school will uphold the rights of parents in this regard.”
https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2016-11-16/37/

Section 62 “sets some mandatory requirements for a school’s Admission Policy, which include: setting out the characteristic spirit of the school; including an admission statement; providing details of the school’s arrangements for students who do not wish to attend religious instruction”
https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2016-11-16/37/

“What we are really discussing is how to address the absolute constitutional right of a child to opt out of the religious activities within the school, if he or she chooses.”
https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2018-05-30/33/

“We are strengthening the provision to meet the constitutional right of every child not to have to attend religious instruction. This will be enforced by requiring it to be explicitly stated in the admissions policy of religious schools as to how they propose to honour that. We are introducing a charter for parents and students to ensure that they will have more say over time in all of the dimensions of school policy. In the case of multi-denominational ETB schools at second level, we will ensure that religion is treated as an option and not as a compulsory subject. We are making several changes which are going to give rise to a much improved environment.”
https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2018-05-29/43/

“There is the matter of issuing directions and we have made a significant change in this Bill. Before a child enrols in a school, the school would have to set out the policy it provides with respect to attending religious instruction. This is an area where there has been a good deal of evolution and we must see more.”
https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/seanad/2018-07-04/15/

“In this Bill I am also requiring schools to set out in their admissions policies how they will accommodate children who are exercising a constitutional right not to attend religious instruction. I have also indicated to schools operating under the multi-denominational education and training board, ETB, banner at second level that they have an obligation to talk to the parents of pupils about what the parents want and to provide a real curricular option for children at second level in those schools as an alternative to religion.”
https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/seanad/2018-06-20/8/

It is clear that the purpose of this requirement is to protect the inalienable Constitutional rights of parents by providing transparency from the outset so that parents know these details before they choose a school for their children. However, it has failed to do this.

2. How Schools are Not Complying with Section 62.7(n) of the Act

2.1 Most denominational schools try to evade the requirement by stating that parents must seek a meeting with the Principal to discuss the arrangements.

This breaches the both the letter of Section 62.7(n) and the stated intention of the Minister in drafting it. Asking people to seek a meeting with the Principal is not the same thing as including the details in the Admission Policy. The purpose of including the details in the Admission Policy is to avoid this type of scenario, by making the details transparent and available to parents before they choose whether or not to send their child to the school.

2.2 Most ETB schools try to evade the requirement by making a spurious distinction with no legal basis between religious instruction and religious education.

The wording that most ETB schools use in their response is “Religious instruction is a term used in Ireland to indicate instruction in accordance with the rites, practices and teaching of a particular religion or denomination for pupils of that religious tradition. Religious education is open to all pupils regardless of their commitment to any particular religion or worldview.”

But the phrase “is a term used in Ireland” has no legal standing. The Supreme Court has already made a different legal distinction between these terms in the Campaign Case in 1998. It described ‘Religious Instruction’ as the classroom subject that a child can opt out of, and it associated ‘Religious Education’ with the ethos and general atmosphere of the school. The word ‘Instruction’ in the Education Act refers to the teaching of any subject.

The Legal Opinion that Atheist Ireland obtained makes clear that it is not the case that Religious Instruction is confined to teaching in accordance with the rites, practices and teaching of a particular religion. Article 44.2.4° says nothing whatsoever about religious instruction relating to one religion only. If a Muslim or Hindu can choose to not attend a class about Catholicism, then an atheist can choose to not attend a class about multiple religions.

When the Education Act 1998 was passed the then Minister for Education Micheal Martin said in response to a Dail question:

“Article 44.2.4° is supported by other constitutional provisions, notably Article 42 relating to the primary role of parents as the educators of their children and their rights in respect of any violation of their conscience. These constitutional guarantees are supported by statutory provisions enacted both before and after the adoption of the Constitution… section 30(2)(e) (of the Education Act 1998) provides that the Minister shall not require a student to attend instruction in any subject which is contrary to the conscience of his or her parent or of the student where he or she is 18 or over.”
https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/1999-02-16/212/

So the right in the Education Act to not attend instruction in any subject that is contrary to conscience, arises from the Constitutional rights under Article 44.2.4 to not attend Religious Instruction and under Article 42 to protect the inalienable rights of parents from violation of their conscience, and it has the same Constitutional protection. This includes the type of class that these Admission Policies spuriously describe as Religious Education.

2.3 Most schools do not address the right to not attend the class, i.e. the right to physically leave the classroom and be supervised or get another subject.

Many schools suggest that children can stay in the religion class but not participate in it. Some say that they do not have the resources to supervise children outside of the class. But the legal opinion obtained by Atheist Ireland makes clear that this is not a valid argument. It makes the following points:

From a Constitutional perspective, the right protects more than sitting at the back of a religion class or even leaving the school while it is being taught. It encompasses, at the very least, the right to leave the classroom during religious instruction while remaining supervised or to be taught another subject. As between these two possibilities, there is a decent argument that schools should not give more teaching time to some students over others on the basis that the latter has opted out as to do so is to discriminate against the student on religious grounds.

Also, schools are Constitutionally obliged to use their existing State funding to facilitate the right to not attend without demanding extra State funding. Provided the school is a public school receiving some State funding, the right must be respected, whether or not the funding is adequate. To come to any other conclusion would render the enjoyment of the right to not attend religious instruction contingent on the level of funding. Yet, this would fly in the face of the plain text of Article 44.2.4°.

It is clearly established that private entities (i.e. entities other than State bodies) may be held liable for breaches of Constitutional rights. Therefore, schools are required to observe the constitutional rights of enrolled children. There is a separate and express duty on the State to ensure that legislation is such as will not prejudicially affect that right. However, provided a school receives some funding, the right is not contingent on the level of that funding and must be vindicated by the school.

These arguments are developed in more detail in the Legal Opinion, which you can read here:
https://atheist.ie/2020/08/legal-opinion-constitutional-right-religious-instruction/

Note that this is not arguing that schools have to conjure up extra resources in the middle of a school year. It is arguing that schools must find out what parents want before they plan each school year, then allocate their resources and set their timetables for the coming year based on that information.

2.4 Some schools unlawfully ask parents to give reasons for wanting their children to not attend religion classes of any description thus breaching the right to privacy.

Asking parents to give reasons for not wanting to attend religion classes breaches Article 44.2.4 of the Constitution, Section 30.2(e) of the Education Act, and the right to private and family life under human rights law.

It also breaches GDPR. Circular Letter 0062/2018 from the Department of Education states:

“GDPR places an increased emphasis on transparency, accountability, and security standards for personal data. Schools should note that the clarification in section 2 about the content and delivery of the Department-approved NCCA Religious Education syllabus means that there should be no requirement for the school to seek information from parents or students about whether or not they are of any religion, and in section 4 of this circular it is a matter for a parent to come forward where a school is proposing to offer religious instruction rather than the school seeking information from parents about their religion.”

3. 40 Sample Catholic Primary Schools

30 of the 40 Catholic primary schools that we looked at wrote as the substance of their arrangements that:

“A written request should be made to the Principal of the school. A meeting will then be arranged with the parent(s) to discuss how the request may be accommodated by the school.”

3.1 Schools that propose only that parents request a meeting

15 of the Catholic primary schools that we looked at wrote only the above proposal for requesting a meeting:

  • Scoil Cholmcille, Lifford, Donegal
  • Tallanstown National School, Dundalk
  • St. Attracta’s National School Ballaghaderreen
  • Coole National School, Kilcock, Meath
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel Boys’ School, Dun Laoghaire
  • Ticknevin national School, Kildare
  • Scoil Ursula, Sligo
  • St. Mary’s B.N.S Rathfarnham
  • St. Finian’s N.S. Meath
  • Crehana N.S. Waterford
  • Holy Family G.N.S., Askea, Carlow
  • Scoil Mhuire Mount Sackville
  • Castledockrell National School Enniscorthy Wexford
  • Gaelscoil Liatroma
  • Holy Family National School Rathcoole
  • Saint Patrick’s National School Skerries

Seven of the Catholic primary schools that we looked at preceded the above with the following statement:

“Our school is of a Catholic ethos and, in keeping with that ethos, children of all or no other faith are welcome to apply to this school. We respect the decision of parents to withdraw their child/children from taking part in the religious education curriculum, religious ceremonies, school Masses, etc.”

  • St John’s National School, Kenmare
  • Scoil Mhuire Murroe, Limerick
  • Ahane National School, Limerick
  • Lisnagry, Limerick
  • St. Patrick’s N.S. Bruree Limerick
  • Silvermines N.S. Tipperary
  • Scoil Náisiúnta Cillín Liath

One Catholic primary school added the same proposal for requesting a meeting about not attending the church for practices and/or events during school hours.

  • Scoil Bhride Lann Leire, Dunleer, Louth

3.2 Schools that add extra information about the request for a meeting

Six of the Catholic primary schools that we looked at wrote the above proposal for requesting a meeting, and added further details:

“Written requests by the parents/guardians will be considered on a case by case basis.”

  • Gaelscoil na Dúglaise, Cork

“Definite arrangements will be set out during this meeting to accommodate the student during religious instruction.”

  • Saint Ultan’s Special School, Navan, Meath (Special school)

“During religious instruction the child will be assigned work appropriate to her/his class.
This work will have to be completed in the classroom as supervision of individual children, outside of the classroom, is not possible due to lack of staff to supervise and lack of accommodation to facilitate. Alternatively parents may collect their child from school for the duration of the religious instruction.”

  • Glengoole National School, Thurles, Tipperary

“With the agreement of the parent(s), the child will be assigned activities in another subject area and he/she will remain in the classroom during Religious Education classes.”

  • Durrow National School, Offaly

“Withdrawal from religious education classes: Drinagh National School respects and acknowledges the rights of parents/guardians who require their son/daughter to be excluded from religious education. The manner in which such an ‘opt out’ is facilitated is related to available resources within the school and complies with the school’s policies on curriculum, supervision and child safeguarding. In the circumstance where a request for ‘opt out’ is made, the child may stay within the classroom following an educationally appropriate activity e.g. reading a novel, catching up on unfinished work etc.”

  • Drinagh National School, Cork

“Parents are welcome to view the school’s Religion programme if they so wish. This can be arranged through the school office. Children who are not members of the Catholic faith will not be required to participate in any activities relating to the Catholic faith. During religious education lessons they will be assigned other appropriate work which must be conducted in the classroom during religion lessons. St. Comán’s Wood Primary school cannot undertake to teach children of other faiths in their own faith, nor can it provide supervision during the religious education period apart from within the class.”

  • St. Comán’s Wood Primary School, Roscommon

3.3 Schools that do not propose that parents request a meeting

Two Catholic primary schools did not propose requesting a meeting. These schools wrote:

“Students not attending religious education will be allowed to remain in the class or attend another class if requested by the parent / guardian. The child will do work set by the teacher, or work provided by the parent / guardian.”

  • Polasaí Iontrála Ghaelscoil Uí Riada

“1. Students will be provided with school work to complete during religious education lessons. 2. During visits to the church, students will be permitted to stay in school and join another class for the duration of the visit.”

  • Darrara National School, Clonakilty, Cork

There are 33 Christian Brothers primary schools that operate under the Edmund Rice Schools Trust. A sample four of these do not refer at all to the requirements of Section 62.7(n).

  • Gaelscoil Sairseal Limerick
  • Drimnagh Castle Primary School Dublin
  • O’Connell CBS Dublin
  • Bunscoil McAuley Rice

Another four Catholic schools in Drogheda have this common policy:

“While Catholic education and ethos permeates the day, children of other faiths or none, are welcome to apply to enrol. They may, on request, be excused from participation in formal religious instruction and Catholic activities. However, the school shall not be expected to excuse them from the class and or provide supervision for same while formal religious instruction and activities take place.”

  • St. Joseph’s CBS, Sunday Gate, Drogheda
  • St. Oliver’s NS, Ballymakenny Rd, Drogheda
  • Presentation Primary School, Ballymakenny Rd, Drogheda
  • St. Brigid’s & St. Patrick’s, Bóthar Brugha, Drogheda (also seeks a meeting)

4. 25 Sample Catholic Second Level Schools

23 of the 25 Catholic Second Level schools that we looked at wrote as the substance of their arrangements that:

“A parent of a student, or a student who has reached the age of 18, who wishes to attend the school without attending religious instruction should make a written request to the Principal. A meeting will be then be arranged with the parent(s) or the student, as the case may be, to discuss how the request may be accommodated by the school.”

4.1 Schools that propose only that parents request a meeting

12 of the Catholic Second Level schools that we looked at wrote only the above proposal for requesting a meeting:

  • Colaiste Bride, Enniscorthy, Wexford
  • Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Salerno, Galway
  • St Mary’s Secondary School, Holy Faith, Glasnevin
  • Presentation Secondary School Listowel, Kerry
  • St. Mary’s Secondary School Newport, Tipperary
  • Patrician Secondary School, Newbridge, Kildare
  • Dominican College Muckross Park, Dublin
  • Scoil Dara Kilcock
  • Saint Peter’s, Wexford
  • Our Lady’s College, Drogheda
  • St Mary’s College Arklow
  • New Cross College Finglas West Dublin

4.2 Schools that add extra information about the request for a meeting

11 of the Catholic Second Level schools that we looked at added extra information about the request for a meeting:

One Catholic Second Level school preceded the above with the following statement:

“Religious Education is provided in the school in such a way, that all students, whether of a particular religious affiliation or none, can freely and actively participate in the classes.”

  • Loreto College Cavan

Three of the Catholic Second Level schools that we looked at wrote the above proposal for requesting a meeting, and added further details:

“Please contact the Principal to discuss this matter.”

  • Hamilton High School, Bandon, Cork

“…within the limited staffing resources made available by the Department of Education and Skills.”

  • Loreto Secondary School, Wexford

“Religious Education is a core Junior Cycle subject in Presentation College Bray. Students will not be given the option of studying another subject during timetabled RE classes. In the case of students who wish to opt out of Religious Education classes at post Junior Cycle level, it is expected, as Presentation College Bray is a Catholic school, that students would remain in class and follow the programme being delivered. No alternative subject will be available to students during scheduled RE classes. See also Section 2 (Programmes) of this application form.”

  • Presentation College Bray (see footnote for more details)

There are 62 CBS Christian Brothers secondary schools run by the Edmund Rice Schools Trust. The sample seven that we looked at used a common template presumably coordinated by the Trust. This common response states:

“Parents/Guardians of students and students (over 18) who wish to opt out of Religious Education (RE) class should make a written request to the principal. A meeting will then be arranged with the parent/guardian or the student, as the case may be, to discuss their options. Throughout this process the constitutional right of the parent/student (over 18 years) will be respected by the school. The 1998 Education Act states that schools are required to promote the moral, spiritual, social and personal development of students (Section9 (d)). At C.B.S. Thurles the allocated time on the timetable for Religious Education responds to this. Students who opt out of RE class are required to use this time to study material relating to their own religious tradition or belief, for example sacred texts. Students of no religious faith, who opt out of RE class, are required to study relevant literature or philosophical texts. A list of suggested texts can be provided by the school. In line with Edmund Rice Schools Trust Charter, C.B.S. Thurles places great importance on the religious or spiritual formation of all its students. Each student has his own personal journey which will be encouraged and respected. Students who opt out of RE class will not be offered extra tuition or study periods.”

  • CBS Thurles
  • St Aidan’s CBS Whitehall
  • Edmund Rice College Blanchardstown Dublin
  • Ard Scoil Ris Limerick
  • Kilkenny CBS
  • Colaiste Choilm Swords
  • Mount Sion CBS Waterford

4.3 Schools that do not propose that parents request a meeting

Two of the 25 Catholic Second Level schools that we looked at do not propose requesting a meeting. These schools wrote:

“Arrangements are set out in the school’s policy on Non Participation in Religious Education as per the school website. This policy is available on the school website or by contacting the school office.”

  • Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan (see footnote for more details)

“As it is religious education that is on the curriculum, all students are expected to attend these classes.”

  • Eureka Secondary School, Kells, Meath

5. 25 Sample ETB Schools

19 of the 25 ETB second level schools that we looked at wrote as the substance of their arrangements:

“It is important to understand that our school does not provide ‘religious instruction’ and therefore the legal requirement to advise of the option to opt-out of religious instruction does not arise in this school. There is an important distinction between ‘religious instruction’ and ‘religious education’:

  • Religious instruction is a term used in Ireland to indicate instruction in accordance with the rites, practices and teaching of a particular religion or denomination for pupils of that religious tradition.
  • Religious education is open to all pupils regardless of their commitment to any particular religion or worldview. It seeks to contribute to the spiritual and moral development of all students equally.

As ETB schools are ‘multi-denominational’, [name of school] supports the provision of religious education that caters for all students regardless of their religious or non-religious beliefs.”

5.1 ETB schools that refer only to the spurious RE/RI distinction

12 of the ETB schools wrote only the above statement about this supposed distinction:

  • Skerries Community College, Dublin & Dun Laoghaire ETB
  • Ratoath Community College, Louth & Meath ETB
  • St. MacDara’s Tempelogue, Dublin & Dun Laoghaire ETB
  • Oaklands Community College, Laois & Offaly ETB
  • Greystones Community College, Kildare & Wicklow ETB
  • St. Paul’s Community College, Waterford & Wexford ETB
  • Beech Hill Community College, Cavan & Monaghan ETB
  • Killarney Community College, Kerry ETB
  • Naas Community College, Kildare and Wicklow ETB
  • Galway Community College, Galway & Roscommon ETB
  • St. Brogan’s College Bandon, Cork ETB
  • Blessington Community College, Kildare Wicklow ETB

5.2 ETB schools that add extra information to this spurious distinction

11 of the ETB schools that we looked at added extra information about the request for a meeting:

Two of the ETB schools wrote the above statement, and added the following:

“Given that Religious Education, as distinct from Religious Instruction, is timetabled across our school at all levels the legal requirement to advise of the option to opt-out of religious instruction does not arise.”

  • Gorey Community School, Waterford & Wexford ETB (Also added a preceding comment)
  • Tallaght Community School, Dublin & Dun Laoghaire ETB

Five of the ETB schools wrote the above statement, and added the following:

“…and therefore does not provide religious instruction in one particular religion or belief. However, as per Section 30(2)(e) of the Education Act (1998), [name of school] recognises the right of parents, or students over the age of 18, attending publicly-funded schools to withdraw from any subject contrary to their conscience, including religious education. Parents or students over the age of 18 who wish to opt-out of religious education must make a written submission to the principal in the first instance. The submission should outline reasons why the opt-out is being requested. The principal will then arrange to meet with the parent(s) or student over the age of 18 to discuss the request.”

These five each end differently:

“…If after that meeting the parent or student over the age of 18 still wishes to opt out of religious education, the school will facilitate this in the following way: Depending on the number of students choosing to opt out of religious education, a student may remain in the RE class and complete work which has been agreed between school and home. Students will not be permitted to do homework during this time.”

  • Lusk Community College, Dublin & Dun Laoghaire ETB

“…If after that meeting the parent or student over the age of 18 still wishes to opt out of religious education, the school will facilitate this in the best way possible in the school that does not create resourcing or financial implications for CDETB or the DES. Please note, 62(7)(n) of the Education Act 1998, the school day cannot be shortened for the student as a result of opting out of religious instruction. If the number of students is small, the students will remain in the Religious Education classes and complete a cross-curricular ethics programme while wearing earphones to prevent them hearing the lesson. If the number of students is large, the school will endeavour to provide cross-curricular ethics classes in so far as its resources allow.”

  • Larkin Community College, City of Dublin ETB

“…If after that meeting the parent or student over the age of 18 still wishes to opt out of religious education, the school will facilitate this. Through discussion, consultation and with consideration of available resources, Coachford College will make specific arrangements for the student. In accordance with S.62(7)(n) of the Education Act 1998, the school day shall not be shortened for the student as a result of opting out of religious instruction.”

  • Coachford Community College, Cork ETB

“If after that meeting the parent or student over the age of 18 still wishes to opt out of religious education, the school will facilitate this in the following way: Students opting out of religious education will be offered a Philosophy class.”

  • Terence McSwiney Community College, Cork ETB

“If after that meeting the parent or student over the age of 18 still wishes to opt out of religious education, the school will facilitate this in the following way: We allow any student who opts out of religious education to stay in the RE class and complete work which has been agreed between school and home excluding homework.”

  • Ardgillan Community College Balbriggan, Dublin & Dun Laoghaire ETB

5.3 ETB schools that do not refer to Section 62.7(n)

In six ETB schools that we looked at there is no mention in the Admission Policy of religion or Section 62.7(n) of the Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018.

  • Carrigtwohill Community College, Cork ETB
  • Castletroy Community College, Limerick & Clare ETB
  • CastleIsland Community College, Kerry ETB
  • Roscommon Community College, Galway & Roscommon ETB
  • Inver Community College Carrickmacross, Cavan Monaghan ETB
  • Kilkenny City Vocational School, Kilkenny & Carlow ETB

6. 10 Samples of Other Patron Bodies

6.1 Protestant Patrons

Five of the six Protestant schools that we looked at wrote:

“A written request should be made, by the parents, to the Principal of the school. A meeting will then be arranged with the parent(s)/guardians of the student, to discuss how the request may be accommodated by the school.”

  • Glenageary Killiney National School, Killiney
  • All Saint’s National School Blackrock
  • Cloughjordan No.1 N.S, Tipperary
  • Old Borough National School, Swords
  • Midleton College, Cork

Another Protestant school wrote:

“The school does not provide religious instruction. For any formal Church services which form part of the School Year, the student will be able to remain in the School, supervised by a member of staff subject to availability, on receipt of a written request in advance of the beginning of the School year by the parent (or the student if over 18) to that effect.”

  • East Glendalough School, Wicklow

6.2 Muslim Patrons

“Pupils will remain in class under the supervision of the class teacher and complete independent learning activities assigned by their teacher.”

  • North Dublin Muslim National School

6.3 Minister for Education is Patron

“The teachers in Central Model Senior School help Roman Catholic children in 2nd and 6th classes to prepare for sacraments in St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Marlborough Street. All other children are taught Ethical Education based on the Learn Together programme taught in Educate Together schools.”

  • Central Model School Dublin

“A written request should be made to the Principal of the school. A meeting will then be arranged with the parent(s)/ guardians of the student, as the case may be, to discuss how the request may be accommodated by the school.”

  • Athy Model School

Limerick Model School has nothing in the Admissions Policy regarding the right to not attend Religious Instruction under Section 62.7(n) of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018. However in their Religious Education Policy they say the following:

“Consultation with parents of these pupils takes place on enrolment. Each child is welcome to attend and benefit from the Catholic religious education programme. If parents have difficulty with this the Principal shall meet with them to see if an accommodation can be reached. Parents are welcome to view the Religious programme taught – at its core is the commandment ‘Love God and love your neighbour’. Sensitivity will always be shown when pupils cannot participate in RE lessons/liturgical celebrations by allowing: Pupils to read/colour and do project work; Scheduling religion at different times in two adjoining classrooms; Pupils to visit other classrooms during RE lessons/liturgical celebrations. The school cannot, however, formally undertake to educate children of other faiths in their own faith, but will facilitate parents/religious instructors if so requested. Whole School Dimension: Meaningful pictures and artworks are on display throughout the school building. The major Catholic and local feasts are celebrated.”

  • Model School Limerick

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