Recent Public Meeting on new school enrolment process

Posted November 21st, 2013

The government recently published the heads of a new education bill to reform the school admission process at primary and secondary level. Yesterday I held a meeting in the Hampton Hotel, Donnybrook to explain to parents and educators the changes envisaged in the bill. There was a full house on the night to listen to our guest speakers from the education sector.

Changes proposed cover, inter alia, an end to the keeping of waiting lists, the charging of deposits to secure places, and the holding of admission interviews; reducing the scope for past pupil preference; and, the publishing of individual school admission policies, what admission policies cannot contain, and the making of appeals. For the relevant documentation, see here. 

A report from the meeting will be issued to all in attendance, as well as to the Department of Education and the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Social Protection.

Over 50 interested bodies have already made submissions to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Social Protection. The Committee is expected to hold hearings on these submissions and to report to the Minister for Education in January of next year. This forms part of the government’s new legislative reform programme. Following on from this the new Admission to Schools Bill will be drafted in full for debate, amendment and enactment by Dáil Éireann. It is anticipated that the new admission process will be in place for September 2015.

My thanks to Councillors Edie Wynne, Paddy McCartan and Kieran Binchy for helping to organise the meeting, as well as Kate O’Connell, Dr Paddy Smyth and Samantha Long.