Following their Summer General Meeting, Bishops affirmed their commitment to proactively engaging with the Department of Education in relation to reconfiguration of patronage.

Bishops are supportive of an educational landscape which reflects the reality of the increasingly diverse society in Ireland. A true plurality of patronage across the country should ensure parental choice whilst enabling patrons to be true to their own ethos and characteristic spirit.

Bishops said, “Parents are the first and primary educators of their children. It follows that the State should be responsive to the rights of parents to have their philosophical and religious beliefs supported during their children’s education. One of the great strengths of faith-based primary schools has been their rootedness in local communities.”

Bishops said they would like to move as quickly as possible to a situation in which the State supports parents with the provision of schools whose ethos genuinely reflects what they want for their children. Going forward, bishops wish to have a fruitful dialogue about the best way of ensuring that our school system reflects a diversity of provision.