Government prevarication on school admissions unacceptable

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
04 November 2020
  • Cabinet decision to delay school-admissions reform for children of past pupils by a year is a cop out.

Speaking after it was revealed that the Government have decided to delay school-admission reform for children of past pupils by a year on foot of the introduction of Labour’s Education Bill which would amend the School Admissions Bill introduced by the previous Government to remove the provision whereby a quarter of school places are reserved for children and grandchildren of past pupils, Labour Education Spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin described the move as unacceptable.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“This is a simple Bill to correct a clear case of elitism within our school admission process. It does not need a “timed amendment” to delay the process by a year. This is a cynical move by Government to try and eek another year out of maintaining the status quo.

“When I proposed this change as an amendment during the previous Oireachtas, I was supported by the Green Party and I would call upon them to ask their Cabinet colleagues to drop this ridiculous amendment.

“I am quite surprised that the Cabinet haven’t seen the merits in the Bill to just pass it. I will be interested to know who has lobbied individual members of Cabinet on this and why they feel this element of the Act needs to remain in, but Labour will not be supporting this extension of time to discuss the matter further.

“The Government either think this elitist practice is right or not and if they don’t, they should agree to support the Bill unamended. This provision was included solely at the behest of influential fee-paying schools, it is elitist and discriminatory and needs to be removed immediately and not in a years’ time.

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