27/06/2016

Labour Launches New Equal Status Schools Bill

Labour has launched the Equal Status (Admission to Schools) Bill 2016 at an event at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin.

The Bill will be debated in Labour's Private Members' time in Dáil Éireann on Tuesday, and will be voted on, on Thursday.

The Bill will make it more difficult for primary schools to discriminate against children on the basis of their religion, and will make it easier for parents to send their children to their local school, regardless of their faith.

Under current laws, schools run under the patronage of one religious organisation or another, are perfectly entitled to exclude a child of any other religion, if a member of their own faith is seeking a place in the school.

Under Labour's proposals, schools would be allowed to give preference to members of their own religion, but only those in the direct catchment area. After that, any child from the locality, regardless of their religion, would have to be given a place, if there is one available.

(MH)

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