ETBI welcomes proposals for making school admissions fairer and more transparent
‘Minister Quinn’s proposals for reforming school admissions are a reasonable and proportionate response to addressing a problem that many parents face each year in obtaining a school place for their sons or daughters’ says Michael Moriarty, General Secretary of Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI).
Mr Moriarty states:
‘What is being proposed will eliminate the uncertainty that a significant number of families have each year about obtaining a school place. It is simply unconscionable that in 21st Century Ireland any family should face the prospect of not being able to obtain a school place as of right.
The proposed change to the appeals process should remove the current complex and burdensome system for appealing against a refusal to enrol a student and replace it with a less adversarial system – to the benefit of parents and schools.
The reform will be particularly beneficial to newcomer families – whether they be new arrivals in a locality or families returning home after a period working abroad because of the economic crisis.
For too long young people with special educational needs have been deprived of the opportunity to attend the school of their choice and the proposed legislation should eliminate this discrimatory practice.’
In concluding his remarks, Mr Moriarty said that ‘while the reforms are welcome, it would be important to ensure that their implementation would not unduly add to the burden of school principals.
‘It would be important that the new procedures would be summarised in a plain English format that school management and parents can easily understand. Neither school management nor parents can be expected to wade through legislation and ministerial regulations in order to understand the new system. Here, also, it would be important that schools are provided with template admissions policies in order to simplify the development of their new enrolment policies’.