Thursday, October 22, 2015

In Ireland, Non-Catholic Students Have Difficulty Locating A School

The Guardian reported yesterday on efforts in Ireland to obtain repeal of the provision in Section 7 of the Equal Status Act 2000 which allows state-funded schools operated by religious institutions to give preference to, or  in some cases limit admission to, members of the denomination sponsoring the school.  Some 90% of state-funded schools in Ireland are run by the Catholic Church. They give preference to students who have been baptized.  Many non-Catholics are finding it extremely difficult to locate a good school for their children.  The main secular schools are run by an organization known as Educate Together.  But its 74 schools do not have enough places for all their applicants. More than 16,000 people have signed a petition that will be presented to Parliament.  They argue that the Equal Status Act provision violates Article 44.2.3 of Ireland's Constitution which prohibits government discrimination on the basis of religion or belief.