Ó Ríordáin expresses dismay at Fine Gael rejection of admission to schools bill

31 May 2016

Speaking after the publication today by the Government of a list of Bills from the previous Dáil session that are to be restored to the Dáil Agenda, Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin expressed his dismay at the abandoning of the Admission to Schools Bill by the Fine Gael-led Government.

“The Labour Party in Government made significant progress on the Admission to Schools Bill.  Ruairi Quinn published a consultation paper and heads of that legislation, and it is now over a year since Jan O’Sullivan published the full Bill.  The Bill would put an end to schools charging fees to apply for a school place, would require all schools to operate fair and transparent enrolment policies, and would enhance the level of equality in our education system. 

“During our time in Government, Fine Gael continually objected to this legislation being allowed to progress.  The concerns of their friends in fee-charging schools always seemed to outweigh the needs of children with special needs who face soft barriers to enrolment, or the need to reduce school costs for parents.

“It is a sad day for the education system that less than a month after his appointment as Minister for Education and Skills, Minister Richard Bruton has made clear that he has no appetite to restore and advance this progressive legislation.”

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