Appalling Difficulties Faced by Parents in Getting Appropriate Education for their Children

Complete rethink of Department procedures necessary.

Thousands of families in Ireland are being forced to send there children to schools which they feel do not respect or cherish their social, cultural or religious backgrounds.

This is in direct contravention of the Irish Constitution, article 42 section 3;

The State shall provide for free primary education and shall endeavour to supplement and give reasonable aid to private and corporate educational initiative, and, when the public good requires it, provide other educational facilities or institutions with due regard, however, for the rights of parents, especially in the matter of religious and moral formation.

This Thursday July the 3rd Educate Together, who represent these families has been invited to address the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Science at 11am at Leister House.

Educate Together will address the committee on two issues:-

  1. The increasing human rights and legal liability for the state in its policy of re-enforcing an overwhelming monopoly of denominational provision at a time of accelerating social change.
  2. The weakness of the current mechanism whereby new schools are planned for, created and developed.

In response to these issues Educate Together’s proposal is for all parties to agree with the following measures:-

  • That the state prioritises supports for school providers who undertake to open and operate schools that work under a legal commitment to respect and cherish the indentity of all children irrespective of their social, cultural or religious backgrounds and are prepared to submit their operational practices and procedures to independent review by such statutory bodies as the Equality Authority.
  • The establishment of a high level task force within the Department to address this issue.
  • The Planning Section of the Department to work with providers to ensure that no family in the state has to travel more than 30 minutes in the morning to access a school that cherishes their identity. The allocation of funds to this programme via the National Development Plan.

A full copy of the presentation plus spokespeople are available on request