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Schools under new patrons ‘by September’

Posted by Francis O' Toole on October 23, 2012

  • RONAN McGREEVY and SEÁN FLYNN, Education Editor

PRIMARY SCHOOLS could be under new patronage by next September if sufficient numbers of parents decide they want it, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has said.

Parents in five areas where there are a considerable number of primary schools will be given that choice through an online survey.

The parents of both preschool and primary-school children in Arklow, Castlebar, Tramore, Trim and Whitehall are being asked to identify their preferred school patron. They will be asked to complete surveys stating their preferences for the type of local school they would like their children to attend.

The results will be presented to the Catholic Church, which has said that if enough parents in certain areas decide they want a different patron for a school, they will hand over that patronage.

The move is the first step in a process in which schools in 44 areas could be divested of the control of the Catholic Church. The areas in question are those where there is a stable population and a clear demand for a greater diversity of school types.

The other 39 areas will be surveyed from next month. See Irish Times for more information.

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