November 18, 2015
Speaking ahead of today’s demonstration on School Pluralism at Leinster House the Social Democrats have pledged support to the campaign for equality in Education by stating that in a modern democracy, it is not acceptable that a child could be refused a place in a local school on the basis of religion.
In further comments the party said:
“Our education system should reflect and respect the diversity of Irish society and the citizens which it serves. Government has a responsibility to ensure that all children can access State-funded school places in their locality. It is unacceptable that parents would be required to have their children baptised for the purpose of getting their child into a local school.”
“The Irish Constitution states in Article 44.2.3 “The State shall not… make any discrimination on the ground of religious profession, belief or status” yet the Equal Status Act allows discrimination on these grounds when it comes to school enrolment policies. This needs to change.”
“Overall, progress in ensuring greater pluralism in the Irish education system has been slow. Government should now set out a 10 year plan to transition from the current situation where 96% of State-funded schools are denominationally controlled to one which reflects the diversity of Irish society.”