Educate Together has welcomed the commitment from Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn, as have parents campaigning for Educate Together schools nationwide.
Following consideration of the report from the Forum on Pluralism and Patronage in the Primary Sector, Minister Quinn has announced a plan which will see some of the Forum’s key recommendations implemented. This should begin a process of divestment of a number of primary schools under the patronage of Catholic bishops to other patrons, including Educate Together.
In today’s announcement, the Minister outlined a process by which primary schools under denominational patronage, typically a Catholic Bishop, can be divested to another patron, such as Educate Together, to provide greater diversity of schools. The process includes a parental survey to ascertain the views of parents in the areas where these changes are to be considered. It will be piloted in 44 areas across the country, including Roscommon Town, driven by the Department of Education and Skills. This process is expected to happen during October and November this year.
Welcoming the Ministers decision, Regional Development Officer for Educate Together in the West of Ireland, Jarlath Munnelly said:
“Many parents in Roscommon have expressed an interest in having an Educate Together school near them, now parents in Roscommon will be surveyed later this year to see what type of school they would like to have.”
This decision will address many of the issues raised in report from the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism, published in April.
That report showed that despite the changes that have taken place in Irish society, 96% of primary schools still have a religious patron. Minister Quinn established the Forum following comments from leading figures in the Catholic church acknowledging that the proportion of Catholic schools is no longer reflective of Irish society.
Issue dated: 29 June 2012
© Roscommon People