I am writing to you regarding the Education (Admission to Schools) Bill 2016.
As you may be aware, the Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Richard Bruton, TD., is proposing new rules on school admissions to schools which will diminish or even possibly remove the role of faith in determining admissions to faith based schools.
This could adversely impact on schools such as ours at primary and potentially post primary levels. On the 20th March COMPASS made a detailed submission to the Minister outlining our objections to the proposals. Please see attached copy.
The Minister has now issued an invitation to attend a Forum on the Role of Denominational Religion in the School Admissions Process, in Croke Park on 29th May at 9.00am. These invitations have been offered to those who either made a submission or requested a meeting with the Department on the matter prior to 20th March. However, places are very limited and it is therefore crucial that we ensure a full attendance of those from our schools who have been granted a place at the forum.
I am glad to confirm that COMPASS has received and accepted our invitation and we will vigorously represent the interests of our constituent parents and schools. We understand that the ISA, Council of Governors, Church of Ireland Board of Education and at least two Parents Association have also accepted invitations. As we think it is possible that those pushing for reform may also attend in large numbers and try to heavily influence the Forum we urge anyone who has received and accepted an invitation to ensure that they attend and participate.
COMPASS has been working this week to identify who will be attending. We have also been working to ensure there is as much information as possible shared between the constituents representing our sector to prepare and present coordinated messages. If your Parents Association has received an invitation and will be in a position to nominate an attendee please inform them they should feel free to contact any of those named below who will be happy brief them on this issue.