Published on 

Minister Bruton commences key provisions in Education Act, 2018

20181003 Minister Bruton

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, signed a historic Commencement Order bringing a number of sections of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act, 2018 into operation.

This Order will deliver a number of broad ranging reforms, which will make it easier for a child to access their local school and fulfils a number of a key actions in the Minister’s Action Plan for Education, which aims to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026.

Three of the four provisions will have immediate effect from today. They will end the use of religion as a criteria in school admissions in almost all cases, end admission fees, and provide the Minister with the power to require schools to co-operate in relation to admission.

The order being signed today will also provide the Minister with a power from Monday 3rd December to compel a school to open a special class following a number of steps. The Minister will sign the order to amend the Equal Status Act 2000 to remove the existing provision permitting schools to use religion as a selection criteria in school admissions in almost all cases.
Minister Bruton stated,

the order which I am signing today will ensure greater fairness in school admissions. While recognising the right of all schools to have their distinctive ethos, the removal of religion as a criteria for admission to school seeks to be fair to all parents including non-religious families that will now find that in virtually all publicly funded primary schools they will be treated the same as all other families in school admissions.

Read the press release in full here