Written answers

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Department of Education and Science

School Enrolments

11:00 am

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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Question 18: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills the options available to persons (details supplied) in terms of securing a placement for their child; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45881/10]

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Education and Science; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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The selection and enrolment of pupils in schools is the responsibility of the authorities of the individual school. My Department's main responsibility is to ensure that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all pupils seeking school places in an area. However, this may result in some pupils not obtaining a place in the school of their first choice. As schools may not have a place for every applicant, a selection process may be necessary. This selection process and the enrolment policy on which it is based must be non-discriminatory and must be applied fairly in respect of all applicants.

Under section 15 (2) (d) of the Education Act 1998, each school is legally obliged to disclose its enrolment policy and to ensure that as regards that policy that principles of equality and the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parents choice are respected.

Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 provides for an appeal by a parent or guardian to the Secretary General of my Department, or in the case of a Vocational Educational Committee (VEC) school to the VEC in the first instance, where a Board of Management of a school, or a person acting on behalf of the Board, refuses to enrol a student in a school. My Department has no authority to compel a school to admit a pupil, except in the case of an appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 being upheld.

The National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) is the statutory agency which can assist parents who are experiencing difficulty in securing a school place for their child. The NEWB will be able to offer assistance and advice on securing a school placement within the pupil's area. The contact details for the NEWB in your area is National Educational Welfare Board Block 3 South Dublin County Council Tallaght Dublin 24 Tel: 01 463 5513

Photo of John McGuinnessJohn McGuinness (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fianna Fail)
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Question 19: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills if a place will be provided at a secondary school in Kilkenny for a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny [45888/10]

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Education and Science; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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The selection and enrolment of pupils in schools is the responsibility of the authorities of the individual school. My Department's main responsibility is to ensure that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all pupils seeking school places in an area. However, this may result in some pupils not obtaining a place in the school of their first choice. As schools may not have a place for every applicant, a selection process may be necessary. This selection process and the enrolment policy on which it is based must be non-discriminatory and must be applied fairly in respect of all applicants.

Under section 15 (2) (d) of the Education Act 1998, each school is legally obliged to disclose its enrolment policy and to ensure that as regards that policy that principles of equality and the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parents choice are respected.

Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 provides for an appeal by a parent or guardian to the Secretary General of my Department, or in the case of a Vocational Educational Committee (VEC) school to the VEC in the first instance, where a Board of Management of a school, or a person acting on behalf of the Board, refuses to enrol a student in a school. My Department has no authority to compel a school to admit a pupil, except in the case of an appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 being upheld.

The National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) is the statutory agency which can assist parents who are experiencing difficulty in securing a school place for their child. The NEWB will be able to offer assistance and advice on securing a school placement within the pupil's area. The contact details for the NEWB in your area is National Educational Welfare Board Block 3 South Dublin County Council Tallaght Dublin 24 Tel: 01 463 5513

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