The Catholic Schools Partnership (CSP), an umbrella body for Catholic schools, has welcomed the announcement today by the Minister for Education & Skills Richard Bruton TD of a consultation process regarding the role of a religion as a selection criterion for admissions to primary schools.
The CSP said it believes that “changes in education policy must be carefully thought through and based on sound empirical evidence. The fact is that be baptised is not a criterion for entry into a Catholic primary school which is not oversubscribed. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the number of Catholic primary schools that are oversubscribed is low, estimated to be between 4% and 5%. This means that the vast majority of Catholic schools accept all applicants.”
They went on to say, “The Catholic Schools Partnership, as with the other stakeholders in Catholic education, will actively and positively contribute to the consultation process announced today. CSP will carefully look at the four possible approaches suggested by Minister Bruton. In addition, CSP will consider other issues that should be taken into account such as a requirement on the Department of Education & Skills to ensure the opening of a diversity of school types in areas where oversubscription is identified as an issue. In this way Irish society can ensure that the complex issue of oversubscription is responded to in a sustainable manner and one that provides the best possible solution for the local families and school communities.”
The Catholic Schools Partnership (CSP) is an association established by the Irish Bishops’ Conference and the Conference of Religious of Ireland. It was formally launched in 2010. Its aims are to foster coherence in Catholic Education at a national level, provide a unified voice for Catholic Education in the public forum and with educational bodies and the Government, support Catholic Educators in the core activities of learning and teaching in order to foster high quality life long learning and faith development for all learners and support the roles of Governance, Trusteeship and Management. The CSP has a Council of twenty-one members representative of the various stakeholders in Catholic schools.