Action needed on progressing multi-denominational schools – Byrne

Published on: 14 December 2016

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills Thomas Byrne TD says the Government needs to do more to progress its commitment on putting in place additional multi-denominational school places.

Deputy Byrne said, “The programme for Government includes a commitment to establish 400 multi denominational schools between now and 2030. However only 4 Educate Together schools have been announced to date by Minister Bruton.

“The Action Plan on Education includes a commitment to “map out approaches” on how the Government can meet its target for multi-denominational schools. This information was meant to be set out by the end of 2016, but we are still waiting to hear from the Minister with just a few days left in this Dáil term.

“We have heard a lot of talk from Minister Bruton regarding parental choice but so far he has failed to deliver any meaningful change. His track record on this issue is substandard at best. There is serious demand for multi denomination education to be provided and that demand is not being seriously addressed by the Minister. The terrible thing for families is that expectations have been raised and effectively dashed by this inaction.

“The Oireachtas Education Committee will begin to address school admissions issues tomorrow. Fianna Fáil has set out clear proposals to address the issues affecting parents and to ensure that people from different faiths and none are adequately catered for. This is in contrast to Fine Gael who seemingly have no policy when it comes to school admissions.

“Part of the answer to the problem of school admissions is an increase in the number of multi denominational schools. We need to see a plan and we need to see the schools. Minister Bruton needs to set out his position,” said Deputy Byrne.

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