A true Republic affords every child equal rights and opportunities – regardless of their parents or grandparents

05 November 2020

Labour’s Education (Admission to Schools Bill) 2020 to remove the provision whereby 25% of school places are reserved for children and grandchildren of past pupils will be debated at second stage today.

The Bill was introduced by Labour Education Spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin who said that access to education should not depend on who your parents are.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“This is a simple Bill and anyone who believes that all children should have an equal opportunity to obtain a school place regardless of whether their parents or grandparents attended the school should vote for it.

“The Bill does not need a “timed amendment” as proposed by Government to delay the process by a year. This is a cynical move to try and eek another year out of maintaining the status quo.

“The decision to include this provision in the 2018 Education Act was a deliberate attempt to keep the royal bloodline of succession through particular elitist second level schools and it was done at the behest of those elitist second level schools. What if somebody’s father or grandfather did not go to second level, or his or her mother or grandmother, or what if somebody is not from the area and, therefore, did not attend a second level school nearby? What happens if a person is not from this country?

“It should not matter who your parents or grandparents are because in a republic we are supposed to cherish all of the children of the nation equally. I will be seeking support across the house for this Bill and I hope that the Government will acknowledge that this provision is an error within the Education Act 2018 and that it should be amended and removed.

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