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IPPN school choice survey confirms validity of Community National School model


In response to the RedC poll of parents expressing a preference for primary school types, the Irish Vocational Education Association (IVEA), representing member VECs, welcomed the survey result that a very significant 67% of parents with dependent children wanted faith formation and religious instruction for their children to be provided during the school day. Commenting on the IPPN survey results, IVEA General Secretary Michael Moriarty says:

The strong parental preference (67%) for religious instruction during the school day confirms the validity of the Community National School (CNS) model, which provides religious instruction to the main faith groups within the school day. There is accommodation for children from families of all beliefs and none, as the CNS seeks to reflect the cultural and religious diversity of the local community. This school model therefore seems to be in tune with the wishes of parents.

IVEA is also heartened by the fact that 30% of parents surveyed would prefer the national school model operated by VECs. In most public debate to date, the CNS model has not been given the credit it deserves, but it seems that parents have voted in favour of religious instruction being provided during the school day, as provided by the Community National Schools. I believe the CNS model mirrors the preferences of much of Irish society, which still wants religious instruction provided in school, during the school day.
The Department of Education and Skills, along with VECs and other stakeholders, including parents, has developed the CNS model as a further choice for parents, most of whom do not want their children’s faith to be left at the school gate. In view of these results, I call on Minister Quinn to endorse the roll-out of the CNS model.
To date, the views of those preferring religious instruction to be provided within the school day have not been adequately heard. This survey gives a voice to those parents who, by a substantial majority, want religious instruction during the school day.

It is also worth noting that the IPPN survey confirms the view in the recently published report of the Forum for Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector, which recommended the expansion of the CNS model.
I am now very hopeful that the Minister’s response to the Report of the Patronage Forum will support the expanded rollout of the CNS model in the short to medium term to reflect and accommodate parental preferences.

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