ETBI WELCOMES NEW ROADMAP PROPOSALS FOR THE PROVISION OF MULTI DENOMINATIONAL SCHOOLS
The announcement by Minister Bruton today (Monday) of new plans to provide more multi-denominational schools in response to local parental demands is very much welcomed by ETBI the representative body for Ireland’s Education and Training Boards (ETBs).
Commenting on the Minister’s announcement ETBI General Secretary Michael Moriarty says:
“As statutory education authorities, the 16 regional education and training boards will play a pivotal role in determining what local demand may or may not exist for more diversity in terms of multi-denominational schools. As ETBs already are patrons of many multi-denominational schools at second level, as well as patrons of 11 community national schools, we are very much aware of the changing societal demands in recent years. More and more parents are looking for multi-denominational schools as Irish society becomes increasingly multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. The changing face of Irish society should be reflected in the types of schools available to local communities.
Denominational schools will continue to play an important role in Irish society as many parents will favour denominational education. But the challenging reality of different patronage demands from different cohorts of parents must be addressed sensibly and rationally and the process outlined today by Minister Bruton is the State’s response to the challenge of changing societal demands.
ETBs will work with the Department of Education and Skills to conduct the parental surveys and assess what demand exists for multi-denominational schools. In this context ETBs as statutory authorities will facilitate the identification of parental demands through appropriate surveys.
The ETB chief executives will act on the outcome of these surveys by engaging with existing patrons and by providing reports to the Department of Education and Skills. In the main and by agreement the school to be divested would be under the patronage of the local bishop. I hope that, where demand for multi-denominational education is proven, the ETB and the diocese, or other current patron, can engage constructively to provide and reflect more diversity in school patronage which will provide for the needs of 21st Century Ireland.”