Ireland Parents outraged at limits on Educate Together enrolments

08:30  14 february  2018
08:30  14 february  2018 Source:   independent.ie

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Parents fear siblings will be split by a decision to limit enrolment numbers at multi- denominational schools.

Traditionally, Educate Together schools have operated a 'First Come, First Served' (FCFS) policy, with parents putting children's names down on a pre- enrolment list. Educate Together Sample Enrolment Policy.

(Stock picture) © Provided by Irish Independent (Stock picture) Parents fear siblings will be split by a decision to limit enrolment numbers at multi- denominational schools.

The Department of Education is restricting enrolment at five Educate Together schools to a half-stream limit, which means just 13 new pupils will be enrolled next September.

The decision affects Educate Together schools in Trim, Co Meath, Tramore, Co Waterford, Tuam, Co Galway, New Ross, Co Wexford and Castlebar, Co Mayo. Parents and teachers at the five schools affected have begun a campaign to have the decision reversed.

Ciara Fitzgibbon, whose son attends the Educate Together in Tramore after the family moved home last year, said she was deeply disappointed.

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Call to reverse enrolment limit at some multi-denominational schools. The schools are all run by patron body Educate Together and were all established over the past two and three years to meet local demand for diversity.

The department has lifted the unusual restriction they had placed on the schools, to limit enrolment to just 13 children. Public pressure, at what the Educate Together schools regarded as a discriminatory cap, will have played a large part in this u-turn. Parents will also be breathing a sigh of relief

"Unfortunately for our three younger children, these restrictions will exclude them from joining their older brother as we had previously planned," she said.

"That a decision like this can be made in 2018 without any accountability or proper explanation is completely unacceptable. Is this the Ireland we've returned to?"

Amy McGrath moved to Trim with her family five months ago. She had planned to send her daughter to the school, saying she was "so disappointed" at the measure.

"I really hope that it doesn't go through and she can still attend.

"This is the only non-denominational school in the area and we are eager that she receive an education that is not dictated by one religion or any," she said.

The schools were informed they would be allowed a half-stream intake when they were granted permission to set up.

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You can pre- enrol for many of our schools on the school's own website where you can also find the schools enrolment policy. Most Educate Together schools are set up by groups of parents who wish for this type of school in their locality.

Parents outraged at limits on Educate Together enrolments Deputy Principal. Bracken Educate Together NS. September 2008 – August 2015 (7 years).

This was because they are situated in locations with no population growth, but have a demand for diversity.

Educate Together described the affected schools as "thriving" with growing waiting lists. It said the move would require them to turn away children and families.

It said the department's decision contradicts why the schools opened and flies in the face of Government claims that the Irish education system supports parental choice.

"Educate Together has been inundated by upset parents in recent days who are now unable to access their school of choice for their children," it said in a statement.

"Educate Together is doing what it can to convince the department to reverse this decision and help those who wish to avail of equality-based schools for their children.

"The school communities concerned have expressed deep shock and frustration at the restrictions."

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Parents outraged at limits on Educate Together enrolments . Parents fear siblings will be split by a decision to limit enrolment numbers at multi- denominational schools. independent.ie.

Enrolment limit on multi-denominational schools lifted. Enrolment Caps Lifted on Five Educate Together Schools in Tramore, New Ross, Trim, Tuam and Castelbar | Educate Together . "This week, the ludicrous predicament of parents around the country who want a secular education for their

A statement from the Department of Education said Educate Together had been aware that the five schools would begin as half stream schools with an intake of 13 pupils.

It added: "This arrangement has been reflected in the department's engagement with the patron of the schools, Educate Together, and was reiterated in correspondence and communications with the schools concerned.

"A case has been submitted by Educate Together to the Department of Education to further expand these schools and this is currently under consideration."

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